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1975, the majority of large prospects will be leased. The most promising frontier areas outside of the Gulf of Mexico are southern California, the Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank off New England, and Baltimore Canyon off the Mid-Atlantic States.
Pending litigation-United States v. Maine-before the Supreme Court precludes initiating at this time actions leading to a sale in the Atlantic in the near future. Further, while it is believed there is oil offshore the east coast, we do not know that oil or gas is present. Because of the potential environmental problems in the Gulf of Alaska and the short field seasons for data collection, a considerable amount of time is necessary to assemble the needed information for a decision to lease that area. Additionally, the physical condition in the Gulf of Alaska, the lack of industry infrastructure, and the distance from markets will result in slower development of those resources.
By contrast to these frontier areas, the resources potential of the southern California Outer Continental Shelf is better known on the basis of extrapolation of data from onshore production and actual ongoing production in State waters. It is estimated that there may be from 1.6 to 2.7 billion barrels of oil and from 2.4 to 4.8 trillion cubic feet of gas there.
In addition, industry infrastructure and basic transportation facilities exist so that production can more rapidly follow discoveries. Thus in terms of resource potential and rapidity in which significant production might occur, the southern California Outer Continental Shelf is very important in meeting the Nation's energy and petroleum needs in the next 5 to 10 years. In fact, of the frontier areas, only southern California has the potential for a significant contribution over that short range.
This is why the Department has such a strong interest in the southern California offshore resources. While, as I have said, no decision to lease had been made, I also do not want to minimize the importance of this area to the Nation's energy situation.
Turning now to where the Interior Department is in its study process-a process that must be completed before the decisionmaking process really begins.
A call for nomination of tracts in the southern California Outer Continental Shelf was issued on January 2, 1974. Based on the responses to that call, consultation with the Department of Defense and other Federal agencies, and input from California official, 297 tracts comprising 1.6 million acres were selected and announced on August 12, 1974. The area encompassed by those tracts represent the area being examined in great detail in the "proposed action" section. of the site-specific environmental impact statement that is now being drafted.
The other areas of the southern California Outer Continental Shelf will be examined in the alternatives section of that impact statement. A draft of this impact statement is expected to be completed late this year and public hearings will be held early in 1975. As I mentioned, the decision whether to lease will not be made until at least next
Work on this statement is proceeding parallel to several other Federal studies that the Department believes are complementary to it. One of these is a programmatic environmental statement that is being
prepared by the Department, addressing the acceleration of Outer Continental Shelf leasing to 10 million acres in 1975. It broadly assesses resource potential and environmental conditions on all the continental shelves of the United States. Its purpose is to assess the cumulative effects of accelerated leasing rather than to assess the impact of any specific sale. A draft is expected to be public in October, prior to release of the draft site-specific environmental impact statement for southern California.
Another parallel effort is FEA's Project Independence report that is due November 1. The objective of that report is to outline the basic national energy supply-and-demand situation through 1985 and the major alternatives to deal with that situation.
The Department is working closely with FEA on this study and the key facts are available for inclusion in the impact statement. The FEA report should be public before the draft southern California impact statement is released so the public will be able to review all three documents together.
As the Department studies the impacts of and problems and advantages associated with a possible southern California Outer Continental Shelf lease sale, we are not working alone. We have attempted to bring into our studies representatives of State and local government agencies in California as well as concerned citizens organizations. To that end, last July Deputy Under Secretary Carter and I held a series of meetings with State officials, local officials and, in this room, the public.
We have asked that representatives from the Los Angeles area governments, the Orange County area governments, the California Coastal Zone Commission, and the State Lands Commission be designated to work with us full time while we prepare the environmental impact statement. We have made similar requests of the Sierra Club and the Seashore Environmental Alliance.
In addition, the Department has reviewed and provided factual input to sections of the coastal zone plan at the commission's request. The draft of the energy element of that plan has been distributed. It will be the subject of State public hearings in December, at which the Department plans to appear, and the final version is expected. next spring.
The Department believes that, with a common understanding of the basic facts that hopefully will emerge from these and similar cooperative efforts, that it is not necessary that all Federal action adjacent to California's coast cease until the coastal zone plan is completed.
First, the major assembling of facts for the State plan will occur during that period that the Department is drafting its environmental impact statement. Definitive conclusions and recommendations by the regional commissioners are to be made to the State commission by April 1, 1975, and State activities concerning the plan during 1975 appear to be primarily review, compilation, and development of policy guidelines or recommendations.
We therefore believe that we will have the full benefit of the California coastal zone studies and the recommendations of the regional commissions, who are most directly concerned, before any decision is made as to whether, where, or how leasing should occur on Federal offshore lands.
Second, whether the plan submitted by the Coastal Zone Commission to the California Legislature will be adopted and implemented or modified will not be known until the conclusion of the 1976 regular session of the legislature, at the earliest.
Third, the California State and local governments make the specific decisions as to pipeline locations across State-submerged lands and those cannot be made until after discoveries are made and specific development plans for these discoveries devised.
Thus, development plans will not exist until after the State's coastal zone plan is completed, and the decisions that the State or counties. must make affecting the coastal zone will not be required until the plan is developed and implementation is underway.
On the other hand, if the Department should halt drafting an environmental impact statement at this time and wait for adoption of the coastal zone plan, a sale could not be held before late 1976 or 1977. This would result in a delay in increased domestic production obtainable from the southern California Outer Continental Shelf, and we instead would be required to substitute imports from Middle Eastern or Arab countries.
I have discussed how we are proceeding to study and bring together all relevant information to allow a decision to be made as to leasing offshore southern California, and why we are proceeding in that direction. The State and its government subdivisions, have a vital role in that process, both because decisions as to pipelines, refineries, and terminals are within their province and because they are concerned with and affected by any leasing decision that is made.
Close cooperation, consultation, exchange of date, participation in studies, and sharing of viewpoints are not only desirable but essential to a sound, informed decision. That decision, however, involves the development of resources that are the property of and that can benefit all the people of this country.
While the concerns of and impacts on the people and governments of southern California are important factors in the decision, in the final analysis, the decision must be made from the perspective and the needs of the Nation as a whole.
We believe the cooperative efforts that are underway now, and that hopefully will be even improved upon in the future, will produce a common understanding of the problems, considerations, and impacts involved. In turn, when a decision is made, whether it be to proceed with leasing as proposed, or in a modified fashion, or to impose special conditions on lessees, or not to lease in southern California, the basis for that decision will be fully understood by the affected people in California and throughout the Nation.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my presentation. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Senator TUNNEY. Thank you, Mr. Lindgren. Are you in a position to speak for the Secretary, as it relates to policy?
Mr. LINDGREN. Mr. Chairman, I am familiar with much of the Secretary's policy. In terms of making commitments for him on matters that he has not yet decided, I am not in a position to do that.
Senator TUNNEY. I am referring to my letter to the Secretary-or rather, Senator Magnuson's letter to Secretary Morton on September 11, 1974, and he says:
Mr. Secretary, this is to request your cooperation in the upcoming hearings to be conducted by the National Ocean Policy Study on the subject of The State Role in Outer Continental Shelf Gas Development. The hearings are planned for September 27th and 28th in the Los Angeles area. They will focus on the major controversy which has emerged because of the Interior Department leasing of the Southern California coast next spring. Some of the issues include the timing of the decision, vis-a-vis the establishment of a State Coastal Zone management program, the problems of developing Southern California Coast at the present time, in view of the current national energy picture and the need for substantive state and local cooperation. As the coastal states come face-to-face with reality of accommodating oil and gas development of their coasts, the need for resolving some of these issues becomes more acute. For this reason, it is essential that you personally be available to state the Administration's view in this matter. Please let me know if you would be able to attend.
The Secretary decided not to attend. My question is: Are you able to address policy on the issues that were raised in the letter by Senator Magnuson to the Secretary?
Mr. LINDGREN. Yes, we are. Mr. Mallory is one of the policy officials of the Department. I am one of the legal officials of the Department, and we are aware of the Department's actions and the Secretary's position. And so we are able to address the issues that were raised in Senator Magnuson's letter.
I believe, in my presentation, I had touched on all of the items which he had raised.
Senator TUNNEY. Fine. I wanted to be sure you would be able to address the problems from a policy viewpoint. And I did not want to waste your time or my time by asking you questions you could not answer because you had not been authorized to answer those questions. Mr. MALLORY. Let me emphasize, if I might, that the Secretary would have liked very much to personally answer your questions. He is involved, as the chairman of one of President Ford's committees on the conference on inflation, which occurred yesterday and today in Washington.
I am sure you will recognize that is a very important role also. Senator TUNNEY. Certainly. What I would like to know is whether or not the Department of Interior is aware of the reaction that the Department's announcement incurred in California when they said that they were going to lease 1.6 million acres of offshore lands?
Mr. LINDGREN. Senator, first, the Department has never said that it was going to lease 1.6 million acres of land offshore California or any other amount.
The Department has never said it. The Department has said that it is giving serious consideration to such and that it is studying all of the ramifications, the environmental consequences, and so forth, of that. We have repeatedly made that statement. No decision has been made at all. As to the state of our awareness of the reaction to the various announcements, we have made and the reaction generally to the proposition of possible offshore leasing. I believe that we are aware of the reaction in southern California and I think that reaction cuts across the whole spectrum of that particular issue.
The Deputy Undersecretary and I were out here in July. We met with State officials in Sacramento. We met with Mayor Bradley and other officials of Orange County and Los Angeles County governments in the city hall.
We held a very lengthy public meeting with members of the public who are concerned, in this room, in which we did receive very strong
reaction. As I say, I think we saw one perspective and as I understand it, the reaction in this area does cut across the entire spectrum.
We are certainly aware there are many concerned citizens that have strong opinions against offshore leasing.
Senator TUNNEY. You were with Jared Carter when he was here in July?
Mr. LINDGREN. Yes, I was.
Senator TUNNEY. There was a press report, August 25, in the Los Angeles Times, which dealt with the petition campaign which exists in California to battle U.S. offshore oil leases. In this particular article, it quotes Mr. Carter.
In early July, Jared Carter, Deputy Undersecretary of the Interior Department told public officials of southern California if 10 million people in southern California say, "no," then it ain't going to happen.
Is that still the position of the Department?
Mr. LINDGREN. Mr. Carter was not stating an official position of the Department as much as he was recognizing I believe he used the words, "the political realities of the situation."
He was using a number which would represent fairly much, a unanimous position of all of the people of southern California. I think he was recognizing his view of the political realities that if everyone in southern California were unanimously opposed, we would not be able to proceed.
Senator TUNNEY. Unanimously opposed? So if 1 person out of 10 million were in favor that would eliminate unanimity?
Mr. LINDGREN. I am trying to respond to what I felt Mr. Carter was saying. He was picking a number which came close to the entire population. No, I am not saying that and I don't think he was saying that if there was one dissenter, so that it was the entire populus less one, that that would totally change the situation.
Senator TUNNEY. I recognize the Department of the Interior, as the law presently exists, has the final decision on whether or not to lease these offshore areas.
However, a representative of the FEA testified yesterday-and I would like to run through the questions and answers with Mr. Ligon. I think it makes interesting reading, and he was speaking for Mr. Sawhill.
Senator TUNNEY. I don't mean to be a prosecuting attorney but I think a greater degree of precision is needed for me to understand it.
Mr. LIGON. I can't speak for the Department of Interior and that is the reason I have real problems.
Senator TUNNEY. Can you speak for FEA?
Mr. LIGON. Yes, sir, I think I can.
Senator TUNNEY. Does FEA feel there should be delay until after the Coastal Plan is completed?
Mr. LIGON. That is the feeling at the present time, yes, sir.
Now, what is the feeling of the Department of the Interior?
Mr. LINDGREN. The Department's position is delay in what? What we are proceeding with is the studies.
Senator TUNNEY. With the leasing.
Mr. LINDGREN. If I might follow through, we are now proceeding with the studies, environmental impact statement, and other studies. We do not believe they should be delayed. Second, we believe that by the time it is possible to make a decision-that is next summer-we