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Title: Offshore Production and Safety Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote on a motion to advance a bill for consideration that expands oil and gas drilling in United States coastal waters.
- Requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct the following offshore oil and gas lease sales (Sec. 3):
- Sale 216, within 120 days of the enactment of this act; -Sale 218, within 240 days of the enactment of this act;
- Sale 220, within 1 year of the enactment of this act;
- Sale 222, no later than June 1, 2012;
- Sale 209, no later than September 1, 2012; and
- Sale 212, no later than December 31, 2012.
- Requires that for each oil exploration plan submitted, a third-party reviewed response plan describing the means and timeline for containment and termination of an ongoing discharge of oil at the depth that the exploration is to take place shall be submitted as well (Sec. 2).
- Requires the Secretary to extend by 1 year the terms of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico that meet one of the following conditions (Sec. 5):
- Were not producing as of April 30, 2010;
- Were suspended from operations or consideration in accordance with the drilling moratorium of May 30, 2010, set forth in the Minerals Management Service Notice to Lessees and Operators No. 2010-N04; or
- Were suspended from operations or consideration in accordance with the decision memorandum of July 12, 2010, of the Secretary of the Interior.
- Requires lessees to obtain a permit prior to drilling a well or "significantly modifying" an originally approved well design (Sec. 4).
- Requires the Secretary to issue a permit only after he or she determines that the proposed drilling operation meets all critical safety system and oil spill response and containment requirements (Sec. 4).
- Requires the Secretary to approve or deny a permit within 30 days of an application, subject to up to 2 15-day extensions (Sec. 4).
- Requires the Secretary, when denying a permit application, to provide the applicant with information concerning the reasons for the denial as well as an opportunity to address those deficiencies in the application (Sec. 4).
- Requires the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study regarding means of improving prevention methods and responses to oil spills and lessening the impact of oil spills on natural habitat (Sec. 2).
- Requires the Comptroller General to conduct a study regarding the existing capabilities and legal authority of the federal government to prevent and respond to oil spills (Sec. 2).