Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (02/07/2012)

Geothermal Production Expansion Act of 2011 - Amends competitive lease provisions of the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 to allow an area of qualified federal land (land that is otherwise available for leasing under that Act) that adjoins other land for which a qualified lessee holds a legal right to develop geothermal resources to be available for a noncompetitive lease to such lessee at fair market value per acre if: (1) the area of qualified federal land consists of not less than one acre and not more than 640 acres and is not already leased or nominated to be leased, (2) the qualified lessee has not previously received a noncompetitive lease in connection with the valid discovery for which data has been submitted, and (3) sufficient technical data prepared by a qualified geothermal professional has been submitted by the qualified lessee to the applicable federal land management agency that would lead individuals who are experienced in the subject matter to believe that there is a valid discovery of geothermal resources on the land and that such thermal feature extends into the adjoining areas.

Defines "fair market value per acre" as a dollar amount per acre that shall be: (1) equal to the market value per acre (taking in account the determination regarding a valid discovery on the adjoining land) as determined by the Secretary of the Interior within 180 days after the Secretary receives an application for a lease, and (2) not less than the greater of 4 times the median amount paid per acre for all land leased under such Act during the preceding year or $50.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) publish a notice of any request for such a lease; (2) determine fair market value in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary; (3) provide to a qualified lessee and publish, with an opportunity for public comment for a period of 30 days, any proposed determination of the fair market value of the area the qualified lessee seeks to lease; and (4) provide the lessee and any adversely affected party an opportunity to appeal the final determination of fair market value in an administrative proceeding before the applicable federal land management agency. Prohibits the Secretary from accepting any nomination of land for leasing after publication of a notice of request to lease such land unless the request has been denied or withdrawn.

Considers a lease issued under this Act to be a lease awarded in a competitive lease sale for purposes of determining the amount of payment that is given in advance of annual rental payments for such lease.