U.S. Participation in Cuban Energy Exploration Act of 2007

Bill Number: 
H.R.3182
Bill Location: 
Date of Last Action: 
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Relevant Text: 

HR 3182 IH

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3182

To allow United States persons to participate in energy development offshore from Cuba and other nearby countries.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 25, 2007

Mr. UDALL of Colorado introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To allow United States persons to participate in energy development offshore from Cuba and other nearby countries.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE, FINDINGS, AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `U.S. Participation in Cuban Energy Exploration Act of 2007'.

    (b) Findings- The Congress finds:

      (1) Current Federal laws and policies bar United States nationals, including United States companies, from taking part in exploration for and development of energy resources in areas where such activities are controlled by the Government of Cuba.

      (2) Other countries do not impose the same restriction on people and companies subject to their jurisdiction, so the restriction penalizes United States nationals and companies without affecting the ability of the Cuban Government to benefit from those exploration and development activities.

      (3) It is in the national interest for United States nationals, including United States companies, to be able to compete for the opportunity to develop those resources if the Government of Cuba decides to allow such development and if the development is done in a manner consistent with protection of the environment.

    (c) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to allow United States nationals, including United States companies, to take part in exploration for and development of energy resources in offshore areas near Cuba and in other similar offshore areas outside of but contiguous to the exclusive economic zone of the United States.

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION OF ACTIVITIES AND EXPORTS INVOLVING HYDROCARBON RESOURCES BY UNITED STATES PERSONS.

    (a) Authorization- Notwithstanding the provisions of law referred to in subsection (b), and subject to subsection (c), United States persons (including agents and affiliates of those United States persons) may--

      (1) engage in any transaction necessary for the exploration for and extraction of hydrocarbon resources from any portion of a foreign exclusive economic zone that is contiguous to the exclusive economic zone of the United States;

      (2) export without license authority all equipment necessary for the exploration for or extraction of hydrocarbon resources described in paragraph (1); and

      (3) import into the United States hydrocarbon resources extracted under the authority of this section, and products thereof.

    (b) Provisions of Law Inapplicable- The provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) are--

      (1) section 620(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2370(a));

      (2) the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6021 et seq.);

      (3) the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. 6001 et seq.);

      (4) part 515 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations (Cuban Assets Control Regulations); and

      (5) any other law, Executive order, or regulation prohibiting exports to or imports from Cuba, or transactions in property in which a Cuban national has an interest.

    (c) Applicability of Environmental Laws- Any exploration for or extraction of hydrocarbon resources by a United States person within an area described in subsection (a)(1) shall be subject to the same laws, rules, and regulations for the protection of fish, wildlife, and the environment that are applicable to such activities within the exclusive economic zone of the United States.

SEC. 3. TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH AUTHORIZED HYDROCARBON EXPLORATION AND EXTRACTION ACTIVITIES.

    (a) General License Authority for Travel-Related Expenditures by Persons Engaging in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Extraction Activities- The Secretary of the Treasury shall authorize under a general license the travel-related transactions listed in section 515.560(c) of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, for travel to, from, or within Cuba in connection with exploration for and the extraction of hydrocarbon resources in any part of a foreign maritime exclusive economic zone that is contiguous to the exclusive economic zone of the United States.

    (b) Persons Authorized- Persons authorized to travel to Cuba under this section include full-time employees, executives, agents, and consultants of producers, distributors, and shippers of hydrocarbon resources.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act--

      (1) the term `exclusive economic zone of the United States' means the exclusive economic zone of the United States established by Proclamation 5030 of March 10, 1983 (16 U.S.C. 1453 note);

      (2) the term `foreign exclusive economic zone' means an economic zone contiguous to the territorial sea of a foreign country that is asserted by the government of that country; and

      (3) the term `United States person' means--

        (A) any United States citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States; and

        (B) any person other than an individual, if 1 or more individuals described in subparagraph (A) own or control at least 51 percent of the securities or other equity interest in that person.