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Other than that, I believe all of the representatives are here, and if I am wrong they can correct me and if I am not wrong, Mr. Wolter when he testifies, or Mr. Olpin when he testifies, can confirm my statement.
Mr. BURTON of Utah. I think you have helped your case by coming up with this estimate of less than or not more than 50,000, however you put it.
One other question, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Aidlin, could you and Mr. McCabe advise the committee what the latest possible date is you could accept on the grandfather clause to have your interest protected?
Mr. AIDLIN. As far as Magma Power Co. is concerned, we could go way back, we could go back as far as the beginning of the 88th Congress. But we feel that those in the industry who need a later date should have a later date, the date which is written in the bill, because we feel that the public interest will be served by enabling them to go ahead and develop their lands.
As far as Magma Power Co. is concerned, we could take a date as early as January 1, 1963. But I am not advocating that, I am saying we could stay with the date in the bill.
Mr. BURTON of Utah. You would be satisfied with the date in the bill?
Mr. AIDLIN. Yes.
Mr. BURTON of Utah. I would like to say for the record that I have always felt you folks have a legitimate claim and an interest in this and it would be my hope that the committee will do whatever it can do to protect your interest as well as allowing the other companies to develop. Mr. AIDLIN. Thank you, Mr. Burton.
Mr. BURTON of Utah. I appreciate your testimony.
Mr. EDMONDSON. Does any other member of the subcommittee have any questions of these witnesses?
If there is no objection, I would like to recognize Mr. Johnson, who is a member of the full committee and who has been very faithful in attendance.
Mr. JOHNSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
Speaking of the acreage, I talked to Mr. Hughes the other day after he had testified here, and also with the people who are representing the Secretary of Interior. To the best of my knowledge they come up with a figure of 59,200 in the private sector outside of the lands that are under some form of lease, either oil and gas or under the mining claims. So I think Mr. Hughes did not have the figure, and he said he could not get it, and the Department of Interior representatives said they could not put it together because they knew of the oil and gas leases, but they did not have all of the placer mining leases involved.
I think this morning Mr. Aidlin and Mr. McCabe have cleared this up to a certain extent. They are about the only operators I believe in the placer field. There might be one or two others.
For the record, the Geothermal Resources International say 12,800; George Rowan is credited with 12,800; the Signal Oil & Gas Co., 12,800; Magma Power Co., 800 acres; Occidental Petroleum, 12,800; adding up to 59.200 acres. This is a very small amount of land.
I think that the proper provision can be written in the bill where no
one can convert more than 12,800. I do not think this in any way, shape or form qualifies as a giveway.
Now this was included in the veto message, and I do not think the acreage has ever been brought to the attention of the committee here, the amount of acreage involved. I know there is a lot of private land adjacent to this that is involved and they have done a lot of exploratory work on private lands but very little on public lands. As he states, they drilled one well and quit at the order of Under Secretary of Interior, Mr. Carver.
In your holdings in Mono County, you have done nothing other than protect your claim.
Mr. AIDLIN. That is right. And Mr. Johnson, there has been an overlap here because Geothermal Resources is a partner with us in our claims in Mono County because they succeeded to certain partnerships we had created originally. So actually, the 59,000 figure has some duplication in it. It is less than that.
Mr. JOHNSON. As Mr. McCabe stated, you people have spent a lot of money on private lands adjacent to the public lands.
Mr. AIDLIN. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. In Mono County, has your company carried on any exploratory work there?
Mr. AIDLIN. Very much.
Mr. JOHNSON. On private lands?
Mr. AIDLIN. Private lands. I have the figures here.
We have drilled nine wells in the Casa Diablo area.
Mr. JOHNSON. I knew there was exploratory work going on there all the time, but I did not know who was involved or whether it was on private or public lands. But I presume that all of your exploratory work there was on private land adjacent to the public lands.
Mr. AIDLIN. We and predecessors of Geothermal Resources collectively did that.
Mr. JOHNSON. Has the Department of Interior declared your claims null and void?
Mr. AIDLIN. No, they have not done anything.
Mr. EDMONDSON. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. EDMONDSON. Would it be possible to supply for the committee now or within the next few days the precise location of the acreage with legal descriptions on which you do have certain grandfather clause rights?
Mr. AIDLIN. Yes.
Mr. EDMONDSON. Would there be any reason not to make that available?
Mr. AIDLIN. Not at all.
Mr. EDMONDSON. Would you supply that to Mr. Shafer of the committee staff then?
Mr. AIDLIN. When I get back to my office I will prepare a schedule and send to Mr. Shafer. All we can say is our own.
Mr. EDMONDSON. I understand that. We are not asking you to supply any other but your own.
Mr. AIDLIN. We can do that.
(Information requested will be found at page 193.)
Mr. ASPINALL. Mr. Chairman, you do not desire that it be held in confidential status?
Mr. AIDLIN. Not at all. As a matter of fact, I also brought a copy of our lease from fee owners which the Senate wanted during their hearings, and I have copies here if it will help the committee any, which can be used for staff purposes or can be put in the record. That is not confidential either.
Mr. EDMONDSON. We would like to have that because it does make the point of the difficulty in unitization.
Mr. AIDLIN. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. I want to ask two other questions.
Mr. McCabe, in the installation of your latest development there in Sonoma County where the Pacific Gas & Electric will install and bring in another generator at 50,000, what is the cost per kilowatt of that facility? Do you have an estimate?
Mr. MCCABE. I have not seen the application of P.G. & E. before the Public Utility Commission for that unit. I think it will be some reduction because, by increasing the size of unit, the unit cost per kilowatt of capacity is somewhat reduced. The operational expenses will go down because they are all fully automated. There are three plants in operation now.
They have started construction the other day on No. 4, which will be 30,000. It will not require any operational help on the part of P.G. & E. for 12 hours a day. They are a completely automated plant. So the greater installations are in terms of both units and in size, the cost of power will be progressively less, because the fuel cost is constant under our contract.
Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. McCabe, as you have stated, you have had discussions with Southern California Edison Co. in behalf of the potential in Mono County of geothermal resources.
Mr. MCCABE. That is right.
Mr. JOHNSON. And you have also had discussions with the Sierra Pacific Power Co. in Nevada?
Mr. MCCABE. Many of them.
Mr. JOHNSON. So I think there is interest in the geothermal steam resources there for the development of power. I, for one, would certainly like to see a bill come out of this subcommittee and move on to the full committee for final consideration.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. EDMONDSON. That is, I think, generally agreed, and is going to be left to the subcommittee.
I want to thank the two witnesses. I do feel we have heard some experts on the subject this morning, whether they want to be identified that way or not. We appreciate the very valuable testimony you supplied to us.
Mr. MCCABE. I want to say I have been looking for a long time to find an expert in this field and I have not found one yet.
Mr. EDMONDSON. Thank you very much.
The subcommittee stands adjourned until 9:45 tomorrow morning. (Whereupon, at 11:12 a.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 9:45 a.m., Friday June 16, 1967.)
DISPOSITION OF GEOTHERMAL STEAM-1967
FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 1967
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINES AND MINING
OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 9:45 a.m. in room 1324, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Ed Edmondson (subcommittee chairman) presiding.
Mr. EDMONDSON. The Subcommittee on Mines and Mining will come to order for further consideration of bills dealing with geothermal steam disposition.
Our first witness this morning is a distinguished Member of the House, the Honorable Spark Matsunaga. We are pleased to have you with us this morning and you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF HON. SPARK M. MATSUNAGA, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF HAWAII
Mr. MATSUNAGA. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I thank you for this opportunity to testify in support of the several bills before this subcommittee, including my bill, H.R. 5778, which would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to make disposition of geothermal steam and associated geothermal resources.
They say an expert, Mr. Chairman, is one who is away from home. I am away from home but even under that definition I must disclaim being an expert on geothermal steam. However, the possibility of harnessing geothermal energy has intrigued me ever since I first observed the emission of steam from crevices in the ground in the Kilauea Volcano area of the island of Hawaii, in my native State. This was in the days of my youth, which seems much too long ago. I am sure that many of the distinguished members of this subcommittee have visited the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and also observed this natural phenomenon. Certainly, there is support in the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs for the proposition that geothermal energy from the earth's "underground boilers" ought to be systematically developed as an additional source of power for the United States. This was evidenced in the 89th Congress by the fact that on September 28, 1966, your committee reported the bill, S. 1674, which was passed by the House in the closing days of the session.
I am aware of the fact that the President later pocket-vetoed the measure and sent a memorandum of disapproval back to the Congress. The provisions of S. 1674 which were the subject of Presidential objection are not found in H.R. 9583, the bill which was introduced