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HB 129: "An Act relating to approval for oil and gas or gas only exploration and development in a geographical area; and providing for an effective date."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 129                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to approval for oil and gas or gas only exploration and development in                                 
02 a geographical area; and providing for an effective date."                                                              
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1.  AS 38.05.035 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                          
05            (o)  The director may approve exploration or development for all or part of an                               
06       area previously approved for oil and gas or gas only leasing under (e) of this section,                           
07       without regard to individual lease boundaries. An approval under this subsection                                  
08       applies to oil and gas or gas only leases leased before or during a period for up to 10                           
09       years, as specified by the director in the approval. When authorizing exploration or                              
10       development under this subsection, the department will provide public notice and the                              
11       opportunity to comment using the methods described in AS 38.05.945(b) and (c). The                                
12       approval authorizes a lessee to begin exploration or development on the lease during                              
13       the specified period, subject to the lessee receiving other authorizations required from                          
14       the department or other state or federal agencies. Once a lessee begins exploration or                            
01       development on a lease, the approval for the exploration under this subsection or the                             
02       approval of the development under this subsection remains valid for the term of the                               
03       lease. This subsection does not relieve lessees of any statutory, regulatory, or lease                            
04       obligations, including any obligations to submit for approval plans of operation, of                              
05       exploration, or of development. In this subsection, "area" means those lands described                            
06       as areawide lease sales by the department in its five-year program of proposed oil and                            
07       gas or gas only lease sales prepared under AS 38.05.180(b).                                                       
08    * Sec. 2. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).