Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act
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The Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act (H.R. 1613) is a bill that would approve a February 20, 2012 agreement between the United States of America and Mexico about the development of oil and gas natural resources in the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico near where the two countries share a border. The bill also establishes some of the rules and procedures for enacting this treaty. It was introduced into the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress.
Provisions/Elements of the bill
The Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to authorize the United States Secretary of the Interior to implement any agreement for the management of transboundary hydrocarbon reservoirs entered into by the President and approved by the United States Congress. The Act then prescribes procedures for submission of such agreements to Congress.
H.R. 1613 would also authorize the Secretary of the Interior to implement the terms of the Agreement between the United States of America and Mexico Concerning Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico, signed at Los Cabos, February 20, 2012 (the Agreement), including: (1) approving unitization agreements and related arrangements for the exploration, development, or production of oil and natural gas from transboundary reservoirs or geological structures; (2) making available, subject to the agreement's confidentiality protections, information pertaining to such activities that may be considered confidential, privileged, or proprietary; and (3) ensuring that only the operator, lessee, or inspection staff at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement have authority to stop work on such activities on any production site attached to the U.S. seabed.
The bill would exempt any actions taken by a public company in accordance with a transboundary hydrocarbon agreement from resources extraction reporting requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Finally, the bill would prohibit the passage and enactment of the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act from being construed as: (1) authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to participate in any negotiations, conferences, or consultations with Cuba regarding exploration, development, or production of hydrocarbon resources in the Gulf of Mexico along the U.S. maritime border with Cuba (including the area known the `Eastern Gap'); or (2) affecting U.S. sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Outer Continental Shelf which appertains to it.
Congressional Budget Office report
H.R. 1613 would approve a February 20, 2012, agreement between the United States and Mexico regarding the development of oil and gas resources in what is known as the “transboundary” area in the Gulf of Mexico. It would establish guidelines and procedures for implementing that agreement and for Congressional review of any future agreements governing that area.
Pay-as-you-go procedures apply to this bill because enacting the legislation would affect offsetting receipts, which are recorded as a credit against direct spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that enacting H.R. 1613 would increase offsetting receipts from lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) by $25 million over the 2014–2023 period, thus reducing direct spending by a corresponding amount. Enacting H.R. 1613 would not affect revenues.
The Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act was introduced into the House on April 18, 2013 by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC). It was referred to several committees, including the United States House Committee on Natural Resources, the United States House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and the United States House Committee on Financial Services for debate, discussion, and amendment. On June 21, 2013, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that H.R. 1864 would be on the floor calendar for the week of June 24. On June 27, 2013, the House voted in Roll Call 293: 256-171 to pass H.R> 1613.
- "CBO – H.R. 1613". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- "H.R. 1613 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- "H.R. 1613 – All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- "Leader's Weekly Schedule – Week of June 24, 2013" (PDF). House Majority Leader. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
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- Library of Congress – Thomas H.R. 1613
- beta.congress.gov H.R. 1613
- GovTrack.us H.R. 1613
- OpenCongress.org H.R. 1613
- WashingtonWatch.com H.R. 1613
- House Republicans' report on H.R. 1613
- Congressional Budget Office's report on H.R. 1613
- House Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1613