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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1039 - Oil Shale Claims

May 04, 1987


(House Rules)
(Rep. Rahall (D) West Virginia and 3 others)

The administration opposes enactment of H.R. 1039. Action on any legislation regarding pending oil shale claims is premature until the Department of the Interior completes its ongoing review of these claims. Upon completion of this review, which is scheduled to be complete by June 1, the Department will have much better information concerning the number and status of such claims and alternatives for managing them. At that time, the administration will work with Congress to resolve the issues posed by the outstanding oil shale claims.

The administration is also concerned that by eliminating the opportunity for claimants to take title to oil shale deposits, and the right to develop them, H.R. 1039 may represent a taking of the claimants' property rights, which would raise serious constitutional concerns. If the Claims Court concluded that this bill took the claimants' property, the Court would require the Federal Government to pay the claimants the value of the property taken. This seems to be an unnecessary risk in light of other approaches to the issue that do not risk Federal liability.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1039 - Oil Shale Claims Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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