Memorandum for the Secretary of Commerce, The Secretary of Energy
Subject: Exports of Alaskan North Slope (ANS) Crude Oil
Pursuant to section 28(s) of the Mineral Leasing Act, as amended, 30 U.S.C. 185, I hereby determine that exports of crude oil transported over right-of-way granted pursuant to section 203 of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act are in the national interest. In making this determination, I have taken into account the conclusions of an interagency working group, which found that such oil exports:
—will not diminish the total quantity or quality of petroleum available to the United States; and
—are not likely to cause sustained material oil supply shortages or sustained oil price increases significantly above world market levels that would cause sustained material adverse employment effects in the United States or that would cause substantial harm to consumers, including those located in noncontiguous States and Pacific Territories.
I have also considered the interagency group's conclusions regarding potential environmental impacts of lifting the ban. Based on their findings and recommendations, I have concluded that exports of such crude oil will not pose significant risks to the environment if certain terms and conditions are met.
Therefore, pursuant to section 28(s) of the Mineral Leasing Act I direct the Secretary of Commerce to promulgate immediately a general license, or a license exception, authorizing exports of such crude oil, subject to appropriate documentation requirements, and consistent with the following conditions:
—tankers exporting ANS exports must use the same route that they do for shipments to Hawaii until they reach a point 300 miles due south of Cape Hinchinbrook Light and then turn toward Asian destinations. After reaching that point, tankers in the ANS oil trade must remain outside of the 200 nautical-miles Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States as defined in the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1811). This condition also applies to tankers returning from foreign ports to Valdez, Alaska. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the vessel master only to ensure the safety of the vessel;
—that export tankers be equipped with satellite-based communications systems that will enable the Coast Guard independently to determine their location. The Coast Guard will conduct appropriate monitoring of the tankers, a measure that will ensure compliance with the 200-mile condition, and help the Coast Guard respond quickly to any emergencies;
—the owner or operator of an Alaskan North Slope crude oil export tankship shall maintain a Critical Area Inspection Plan for each tankship in the trade in accordance with the U.S. Coast Guard's Navigation and Inspection Circular No. 15-91 as amended, which shall include an annual internal survey of the vessel's cargo block tanks; and
—the owner or operator of an Alaskan North Slope crude oil export tankship shall adopt a mandatory program of deep water ballast exchange (i.e., in 2,000 meters water depth). Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the captain only in order to ensure the safety of the vessel. Recordkeeping subject to Coast Guard audit will be required as part of this regime.
The Secretary of Commerce is authorized and directed to inform the appropriate committees of the Congress of this determination and to publish it in the Federal Register.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 8:45 a.m., May 1, 1996]