43 U.S.C. § 1344 Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program

LibraryUnited States Statutes
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-21 (published on www.congress.gov on 11/13/2023)

(a) Schedule of proposed oil and gas lease sales

The Secretary, pursuant to procedures set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, shall prepare and periodically revise, and maintain an oil and gas leasing program to implement the policies of this subchapter. The leasing program shall consist of a schedule of proposed lease sales indicating, as precisely as possible, the size, timing, and location of leasing activity which he determines will best meet national energy needs for the five-year period following its approval or reapproval. Such leasing program shall be prepared and maintained in a manner consistent with the following principles:

(1) Management of the outer Continental Shelf shall be conducted in a manner which considers economic, social, and environmental values of the renewable and nonrenewable resources contained in the outer Continental Shelf, and the potential impact of oil and gas exploration on other resource values of the outer Continental Shelf and the marine, coastal, and human environments.

(2) Timing and location of exploration, development, and production of oil and gas among the oil- and gas-bearing physiographic regions of the outer Continental Shelf shall be based on a consideration of-

(A) existing information concerning the geographical, geological, and ecological characteristics of such regions;

(B) an equitable sharing of developmental benefits and environmental risks among the various regions;

(C) the location of such regions with respect to, and the relative needs of, regional and national energy markets;

(D) the location of such regions with respect to other uses of the sea and seabed, including fisheries, navigation, existing or proposed sealanes, potential sites of deepwater ports, and other anticipated uses of the resources and space of the outer Continental Shelf;

(E) the interest of potential oil and gas producers in the development of oil and gas resources as indicated by exploration or nomination;

(F) laws, goals, and policies of affected States which have been specifically identified by the Governors of such States as relevant matters for the Secretary's consideration;

(G) the relative environmental sensitivity and marine productivity of different areas of the outer Continental Shelf; and

(H) relevant environmental and predictive information for different areas of the outer Continental Shelf.

(3) The Secretary shall select the timing and location of leasing, to the maximum extent practicable, so as to obtain a proper balance between the potential for environmental damage, the potential for the discovery of oil and gas, and the potential for adverse impact on the coastal zone.

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