Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2300 (rs) To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to increase the maximum acreage of Federal leases for coal that may be held by an entity in any 1 State. [Reported in Senate] ...

S. 2300 (rs) To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to increase the maximum acreage of Federal leases for coal that may be held by an entity in any 1 State. [Reported in Senate] ...

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  2d Session
                                S. 2300



                            October 6, 2000

                 Referred to the Committee on Resources


                                 AN ACT

  To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to increase the maximum acreage of 
 Federal leases for coal that may be held by an entity in any 1 State.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Coal Market Competition Act of 


    Congress finds that--
            (1) Federal land contains commercial deposits of coal, the 
        Nation's largest deposits of coal being located on Federal land 
        in Utah, Colorado, Montana, and the Powder River Basin of 
            (2) coal is mined on Federal land through Federal coal 
        leases under the Act of February 25, 1920 (commonly known as 
        the ``Mineral Leasing Act'') (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.);
            (3) the sub-bituminous coal from these mines is low in 
        sulfur, making it the cleanest burning coal for energy 
            (4) the Mineral Leasing Act sets for each leasable mineral 
        a limitation on the amount of acreage of Federal leases any 1 
        producer may hold in any 1 State or nationally;
            (5)(A) the present acreage limitation for Federal coal 
        leases has been in place since 1976;
            (B) currently the coal lease acreage limit of 46,080 acres 
        per State is less than the per-State Federal lease acreage 
        limit for potash (96,000 acres) and oil and gas (246,080 
            (6) coal producers in Wyoming and Utah are operating mines 
        on Federal leaseholds that contain total acreage close to the 
        coal lease acreage ceiling;
            (7) the same reasons that Congress cited in enacting 
        increases for State lease acreage caps applicable in the case 
        of other minerals--the advent of modern mine technology, 
        changes in industry economics, greater global competition, and 
        the need to conserve Federal resources--apply to coal;
            (8) existing coal mines require additional lease acreage to 
        avoid premature closure, but those mines cannot relinquish 
        mined-out areas to lease new acreage because those areas are 
        subject to 10-year reclamation plans, and the reclaimed acreage 
        is counted against the State and national acreage limits;
            (9) to enable them to make long-term business decisions 
        affecting the type and amount of additional infrastructure 
        investments, coal producers need certainty that sufficient 
        acreage of leasable coal will be available for mining in the 
        future; and
            (10) to maintain the vitality of the domestic coal industry 
        and ensure the continued flow of valuable revenues to the 
        Federal and State governments and of energy to the American 
        public from coal production on Federal land, the Mineral 
        Leasing Act should be amended to increase the acreage 
        limitation for Federal coal leases.


    Section 27(a) of the Act of February 25, 1920 (30 U.S.C. 184(a)), 
is amended--
            (1) by striking ``(a)'' and all that follows through ``No 
        person'' and inserting ``(a) Coal Leases.--No person'';
            (2) by striking ``forty-six thousand and eighty acres'' and 
        inserting ``75,000 acres''; and
            (3) by striking ``one hundred thousand acres'' each place 
        it appears and inserting ``150,000 acres''.

            Passed the Senate October 5 (legislative day, September 
      22), 2000.


                                                    GARY SISCO,


Pages: 1

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