S.2238 – Keep It in the Ground Act of 2015: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

S.2238 - Keep It in the Ground Act of 2015: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

This bill amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit the Department of the Interior from issuing a new lease, renewing, reinstating, or extending any nonproducing lease under such Act, or issuing any other authorization for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or any other fossil fuel in the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, or any other area of the outer Continental Shelf.

Interior shall: (1) cancel any lease issued under such Act before the date of enactment of this Act in the Beaufort Sea, Cook Inlet, or Chukchi Sea; and (2) not conduct any lease sale, enter into any new lease, reoffer for lease any land covered by an expiring lease, or renew, reinstate, or extend any nonproducing lease in existence before such date for onshore fossil fuels, including coal, oil, tar sands, oil shale, and gas on land subject to the Mineral Leasing Act.

Innterior may exempt any provision of this Act if it determines that there is an imminent national security threat and that issuing an exemption would significantly reduce such threat, but only for as long as the threat persists.

Interior may allow a nonproducing lease to be renewed or extended if: (1) the nonproducing lease contract was signed before enactment of this Act, and (2) Interior determines that giving effect to any provision of this Act is likely to lead to a court ruling that there was a material breach of the contract. Such a renewal or extension shall be for the shortest time practicable under the terms of the contract.

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