[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 117 (Monday, June 18, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 36226-36228]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14868]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

25 CFR Part 226


Notice of Intent To Establish an Osage Negotiated Rulemaking 
Committee

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; request for comments or nominations.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is announcing its intent to 
establish an Osage Negotiated Rulemaking Committee (Committee). The 
Committee will develop specific recommendations to address future 
management and administration of the Osage Mineral Estate, including 
potential revisions to the regulations governing leasing of Osage 
Reservation Lands for Oil and Gas Mining, 25 CFR Part 226. The 
Committee will include representatives of parties who would be affected 
by a final rule. BIA solicits comments on this proposal to establish 
the Committee and its proposed membership. BIA also invites anyone who 
will be significantly affected by the proposed rule and believes their 
interests will not be adequately represented by the proposed members 
listed below to nominate a member to the Committee.

DATES: Submit nominations for Committee members or written comments on 
this notice on or before July 18, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit nominations to the Committee or comments on 
this notice by any of the following methods:
     Mail comments or nominations to Mr. Robert Impson, 
Designated Federal Officer, Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, 3100 W. Peak Blvd., Muskogee, OK 74401; (918) 781-4600.
     Hand-carry comments or use an overnight courier service. 
Our courier address is 3100 W. Peak Blvd., Muskogee, OK 74401; (918) 
781-4600.
     Email comments or nominations to robert.impson@bia.gov. 
Include the words Osage Negotiated Rulemaking in the subject line.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Impson, Designated Federal 
Officer, Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
3111 W. Peak Blvd., Muskogee, OK 74401; robert.impson@bia.gov; (918) 
781-4600; (918) 781-4604 (FAX).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On October 14, 2011, the United States and the Osage Nation 
(formerly known as the Osage Tribe) signed a Settlement Agreement to 
resolve litigation regarding alleged mismanagement of the Osage 
Nation's oil and gas mineral estate, among other claims. As part of the 
Settlement Agreement, the parties agreed that it would be mutually 
beneficial ``to address means of improving the trust management of the 
Osage Mineral Estate, the Osage Tribal Trust Account, and Other Osage 
Accounts.'' Settlement Agreement, Paragraph 1.i. During settlement 
negotiations, it became apparent that a review of the existing 
regulations is necessary to better assist the BIA in managing the Osage 
Mineral Estate. The parties agreed to engage in a negotiated rulemaking 
for this purpose, Settlement Agreement, Paragraph 9.b.

II. Statutory Authorities

    The Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1996 (NRA) (5 U.S.C. 561 et seq.); 
the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, section 
1 et seq.); the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 
U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); the Act of June 28, 1906, ch. 3572, 34 Stat. 539, 
as amended; and the Leasing of Osage Reservation Lands for Oil and Gas 
Mining, 25 CFR part 226.

III. The Committee and Its Process

    In a negotiated rulemaking, a report containing recommendations for 
the provisions of the proposed rule is developed by a committee 
composed of representatives of government and the interests that will 
be significantly affected by the rule. Decisions on what

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to include in the report are made by consensus.
    ``Consensus'' means unanimous concurrence among the interests 
represented on a negotiated rulemaking committee established under this 
subchapter, unless such committee (A) agrees to define such term to 
mean a general but not unanimous concurrence; or (B) agrees upon 
another specified definition. 5 U.S.C. 562(2)(A) and (B).
    The negotiated rulemaking process is initiated by the agency's 
identification of interests potentially affected by the rulemaking 
under consideration. By this notice, BIA is soliciting comments on this 
action.
    Following receipt of comments, BIA will establish the Committee. 
The Committee will advise the Secretary through the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) on a rulemaking to revise 25 CFR part 226 regarding the 
future management and administration of oil and gas mining leases for 
Osage Reservation lands. The Committee will act solely in an advisory 
capacity to BIA. After the Committee produces a consensus report on the 
proposed rule, as discussed in more detail below, BIA will develop a 
proposed rule to be published in the Federal Register.
    Under 5 U.S.C. 563, the head of the agency is required to determine 
that use of the negotiated rulemaking procedure is in the public 
interest. In making such a determination, the agency head must consider 
seven factors. Taking these factors into account, BIA has determined 
that a negotiated rulemaking is in the public interest because:
    1. A rule is needed. BIA has determined that in order to avoid 
future litigation and to better assist it in managing and administering 
the Osage Mineral Estate, a rule is necessary.
    2. A limited number of identifiable interests will be significantly 
affected by the rule. The regulations governing the Osage Mineral 
Estate apply only to the Osage Mineral Estate and the Osage Agency, and 
do not have broader applicability. For this reason, a limited number of 
readily identifiable interests will be significantly affected by the 
rule.
    3. Due to the limited applicability of the current regulations and 
the limited number of interest holders, there is a reasonable 
likelihood that BIA can convene a Committee with a balanced 
representation of persons who:
     Can adequately represent the interests defined in item 2, 
above; and
     Are willing to negotiate in good faith to attempt to reach 
a consensus on provisions of a proposed rule.
    4. There is reasonable likelihood that the Committee will reach 
consensus on a proposed rule within a fixed period of time. This is due 
to the settlement of the litigation and the desire of the Osage Nation 
and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to avoid further litigation by 
addressing and improving management and administration of the Osage 
Mineral Estate as soon as possible.
    5. The use of negotiated rulemaking will not unreasonably delay 
development of a proposed rule and the issuance of a final rule. We 
anticipate that negotiation will expedite a proposed rule and 
ultimately the acceptance of a final rule.
    6. BIA is committed to ensuring that the Committee has sufficient 
resources to complete its work in a timely fashion.
    7. BIA, to the maximum extent possible and consistent with its 
legal obligations, will use the consensus report of the Committee as 
the basis for a proposed rule for public notice and comment.

IV. Negotiated Rulemaking Procedures

    In compliance with FACA and NRA, BIA will use the following 
procedures and guidelines for this negotiated rulemaking. BIA may 
modify them in response to comments received on this notice or during 
the negotiation process.

A. Committee Formation

    The Committee will be formed and operate in full compliance with 
the requirements of FACA and NRA and under the guidelines of the 
Committee's charter.

B. Interests Involved

    BIA intends to ensure full and adequate representation of those 
interests that are expected to be significantly affected by the 
proposed rule. Under 5 U.S.C. 562(5), ```interest' means with respect 
to an issue or matter, multiple parties which have a similar point of 
view or which are likely to be affected in a similar manner.'' The 
regulations governing the Osage Mineral Estate apply only to the Osage 
Mineral Estate and the Osage Agency. For this reason, BIA believes the 
membership described below fully and adequately represents those 
interests expected to be significantly affected by the proposed rule.

C. Members

    The Committee cannot exceed 25 members, and BIA prefers nine 
members. The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) will provide four 
members (two from BIA, one from the Bureau of Land Management, and one 
from the Office of Natural Resources Revenue), plus a facilitator. Five 
members have been chosen by the Osage Minerals Council. The facilitator 
will not count against the membership and will not be a voting member.
Osage Representatives
Galen Crum
Joseph Abbott, Jr.
James Andrew Yates
Melvin Core
Curtis Oren Bear
Alternate Osage Representatives
Dudley Whitehorn
Myron Red Eagle
Federal Representatives
Daryl LaCounte, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Stephen Manydeeds, Office of the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs
Paul Tyler, Office of Natural Resources Revenue
James Stockbridge, Bureau of Land Management

    Responsibility for expenses is stated under 5 U.S.C. 568(c) as 
follows:

    Members of a negotiated rulemaking committee shall be 
responsible for their own expenses of participation in such 
committee, except that an agency may, in accordance with section 
7(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, pay for a member's 
reasonable travel and per diem expenses, expenses to obtain 
technical assistance, and a reasonable rate of compensation, if--
    (1) Such member certifies a lack of adequate financial resources 
to participate in the committee; and
    (2) The agency determines that such member's participation in 
the committee is necessary to assure an adequate representation of 
the member's interest.

    BIA commits to pay the travel and per diem expenses of Committee 
members if appropriate under the NRA and Federal Travel Regulations.

D. Tentative Schedule

    BIA will publish the first meeting date in a Federal Register 
notice. The Committee will determine the dates of future meetings, 
notice of which will then be published in the Federal Register. At the 
first meeting, the Committee will formulate ground rules for developing 
consensus and establish whether there are any issues in addition to 
those identified by the Osage Nation and BIA to be addressed as part of 
the negotiated rulemaking. After the Committee reaches consensus on its 
report, BIA will develop a proposed rule to be published in the Federal 
Register.
    BIA plans to publish a proposed rule for notice and comment within 
30 months of convening the Committee. The Committee will meet bi-
monthly with the first meeting tentatively planned for August 2012.
    BIA plans to terminate the Committee if it does not reach consensus 
on a

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report within 24 months of the first meeting. The Committee may end 
earlier upon the promulgation of the final rule, or if either BIA, 
after consulting with the Committee, or the Committee itself, specifies 
an earlier termination date.

E. Technical Assistance

    BIA will ensure that the Committee has sufficient administrative 
and technical resources to complete its work in a timely fashion. BIA, 
with the help of a facilitator, will prepare all agendas, provide 
meeting notes, and provide a final report of any issues on which the 
Committee reaches consensus. BIA will also obtain space for all 
meetings.

V. Request for Nominations and Comments

    BIA invites written comments on this initiative. Additionally, 
anyone who will be significantly affected by the proposed rule and who 
believes their interests will not be adequately represented by the 
members proposed above is invited to apply for or nominate a Committee 
member as follows. Each nomination or application must include:
    (1) The name of the applicant or nominee and a description of the 
interests such person shall represent;
    (2) Evidence that the applicant or nominee is authorized to 
represent parties related to the interests the person proposes to 
represent.
    (3) A written commitment that the applicant or nominee will 
actively participate in good faith in the Committee's work; and
    (4) The reasons that the persons nominated in this notice above do 
not adequately represent the interests of the person submitting the 
application or nomination.
    All nominations and written comments must be sent to an appropriate 
address as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

Certification

    For the above reasons, I hereby certify that the Osage Negotiated 
Rulemaking Committee is in the public interest.

    Date June 13, 2012.
Michael Black,
Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-14868 Filed 6-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-02-P