The House Committee on Natural Resources will be considering new legislation aimed at offshore energy programs. Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) announced that the committee will hold hearings on September 16 and 17 to consider H.R. 3534, a bill Rahall introduced yesterday, based on draft legislation circulated earlier this year. The Chairman's bill proposes a new Interior agency that would handle onshore and offshore lease sales, inspection, enforcement, and revenue collection, as well as an overhaul of the federal royalty program.

In addition, the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee held a hearing today on H.R. 2227, a bill sponsored by Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), as well as over 30 Republicans and conservative Democrats. The bill also addresses the federal royalty program and proposes that federal revenues be shared with coastal states that have offshore production. Under the bill, 30% of royalty revenues would go to states, and the remaining 70% would go towards an extension of renewable energy tax credits, carbon sequestration, and nuclear energy.

Both bills are available on