In The

Supreme Court of the United States




Decided January 11, 1984

Justice O’Connor, For the Court

Topic: Economic Activity*Court vote: 5–4
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Joining O'Connor opinion: Chief Justice BURGER Chief Justice BURGER Justice POWELL Justice POWELL Justice REHNQUIST Justice REHNQUIST Justice WHITE Justice WHITE
Citation: 464 U.S. 312 Docket: 82–1326Audio: Listen to this case's oral arguments at Oyez

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JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the Court.

These cases arise out of the Department of the Interior's sale of oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of California. We must determine whether the sale is an activity "directly affecting" the coastal zone under § 307(C)(1) of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). That section provides in its entirety:

Each Federal agency conducting or supporting activities directly affecting the coastal zone shall conduct or support those activities in a manner which is, to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with approved state management programs.

86 Stat. 1285, 16 U.S.C. § 1456(C)(1) (1982 ed.). We conclude that the Secretary of the Interior's sale of Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leases is not an activity "directly affecting" the coastal zone within the meaning of the statute.


CZMA defines the "coastal zone" to include state, but not federal, land near the shorelines of the several coastal States, as well as coastal waters extending "seaward to the outer limit of the United States territorial sea." 16 U.S.C. § 1453(1) (1982 ed.). The territorial sea for States bordering on the Pacific Ocean or Atlantic Ocean extends three geographical miles seaward from the coastline. See 43 U.S.C. § 1301; United States v. California, 381 U. S. 139 (1965). Submerged lands subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that lie beyond the territorial sea constitute the "outer Continental Shelf." See 43 U.S.C. § 1331(a). By virtue of the Submerged Lands Act, passed in 1953, the coastal zone belongs to the States, while the OCS belongs to the Federal Government. 43 U.S.C. §§ 1302, 1311.

CZMA was enacted in 1972 to encourage the prudent management and conservation of natural resources in the coastal zone. Congress found that the "increasing and competing demands upon the lands and waters of our coastal zone" had

resulted in the loss of living marine resources, wildlife, nutrient-rich areas, permanent and adverse changes to ecological systems, decreasing open space for public use, and shoreline erosion.

16 U.S.C. § 1451(c) (1982 ed.). Accordingly, Congress declared a national policy to protect the coastal zone, to encourage the States to develop coastal zone management programs, to promote cooperation between federal and state agencies engaged in programs affecting the coastal zone, and to encourage broad participation in the development of coastal zone management programs. 16 U.S.C. § 1452 (1982 ed.).

Through a system of grants and other incentives, CZMA encourages each coastal State to develop a coastal management plan. Further grants and other benefits are made available to a coastal State after its management plan receives federal approval from the Secretary of Commerce. To obtain such approval, a state plan must adequately consider the "national interest" and "the views of Federal agencies principally affected by such program." 16 U.S.C. §§ 1455(c)(8), 1456(b) (1982 ed.).

Once a state plan has been approved, CZMA § 307(c)(1) requires federal agencies "conducting or supporting activities directly affecting the coastal zone" to do so "consistent" with the state plan "to the maximum extent practicable." 16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(1) (1982 ed.). The Commerce Department has promulgated regulations implementing that provision. Those regulations require federal agencies to prepare a "consistency determination" document in support of any activity that will "directly affect" the coastal zone of a State with an approved management plan. The document must identify the "direct effects" of the activity and inform state agencies how the activity has been tailored to achieve consistency with the state program. 15 CFR §§ 930.34, 930.39 (1983).


OCS lease sales are conducted by the Department of the Interior (Interior). Oil and gas companies submit bids, and the high bidders receive priority in the eventual exploration for and development of oil and gas resources situated in the submerged lands on the OCS. A lessee does not, however, acquire an immediate or absolute right to explore for, develop, or produce oil or gas on the OCS; those activities require separate, subsequent federal authorization.

In 1977, the Department of Commerce approved the California Coastal Management Plan. The same year, Interior began preparing Lease Sale No. 53 -a sale of OCS leases off the California coast near Santa Barbara. Interior first asked several state and federal agencies to report on potential oil and gas resources in this area. The agency then requested bidders, federal and state agencies, environmental organizations, and the public to identify which of 2,036 tracts in the area should be offered for lease. In October, 1978, Interior announced the tentative selection of 243 tracts, including 115 tracts situated in the Santa Maria Basin located off western Santa Barbara. Various meetings were then held with state agencies. Consultations with other federal agencies were also initiated. Interior issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in April, 1980.

On July 8, 1980, the California Coastal Commission informed Interior that it had determined Lease Sale No. 53 to be an activity "directly affecting" the California coastal zone. The State Commission therefore demanded a consistency determination -a showing by Interior that the lease sale would be "consistent" to the "maximum extent practicable" with the state coastal zone management program. Interior responded that the lease sale would not "directly affect" the California coastal zone. Nevertheless, Interior decided to remove 128 tracts, located in four northern basins, from the proposed lease sale, leaving only the 115 tracts in the Santa Maria Basin. In September, 1980, Interior issued a final Environmental Impact Statement. On October 27, 1980, it published a proposed notice of sale, limiting bidding to the remaining 115 blocks in the Santa Maria Basin. 45 Fed.Reg. 71140 (1980).

On December 16, 1980, the State Commission reiterated its view that the sale of the remaining tracts in the Santa Maria Basin "directly affected" the California coastal zone. The Commission expressed its concern that oil spills on the OCS could threaten the southern sea otter, whose range was within 12 miles of the 31 challenged tracts. The Commission explained that it

has been consistent in objecting to proposed offshore oil development within specific buffer zones around special sensitive marine mammal and seabird breeding areas....

App. 77. The Commission concluded that 31 more tracts should be removed from the sale because "leasing within 12 miles of the Sea Otter Range in the Santa Maria Basin would not be consistent" with the California Coastal Management Program. Id. at 79. [ Footnote 1 ] California Governor Brown later took a similar position, urging that 34 more tracts be removed. Id. at 81. [ Footnote 2 ]

Interior rejected the State's demands. In the Secretary's view, no consistency review was required, because the lease sale did not engage CZMA § 307(c)(1), and the Governor's request was not binding because it failed to strike a reasonable balance between the national and local interests. On April 10, 1981, Interior announced that the lease sale of the 115 tracts would go forward, and on April 27 issued a final notice of sale. 46 Fed.Reg. 23674 (1981).

California and other interested parties (hereafter respondents) filed two substantially similar suits in Federal District Court to enjoin the sale of 29 tracts situated within 12 miles of the Sea Otter Range. [ Footnote 3 ] Both complaints alleged, inter alia, Interior's violation of § 307(c)(1) of CZMA. [ Footnote 4 ] They argued that leasing sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in oil and gas development, and that leasing therefore "directly affects" the coastal zone within the meaning of § 307(c)(1).

The District Court entered a summary judgment for respondents on the CZMA claim. California v. Watt, 520 F. Supp. 1359 (CD Cal.1981). The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that portion of the District Court judgment that required a consistency determination before the sale. [ Footnote 5 ] California v. Watt, 683 F.2d 1253 (1982). We granted certiorari, 461 U.S. 925 (1983), and we now reverse.


Whether the sale of leases on the OCS is an activity "directly affecting" the coastal zone is not self-evident. [ Footnote 6 ] As already noted, OCS leases involve submerged lands outside the coastal zone, and as we shall discuss, an OCS lease authorizes the holder to engage only in preliminary exploration; further administrative approval is required before full exploration or development may begin. Both sides concede that the preliminary exploration itself has no significant effect on the coastal zone. Both also agree that a lease sale is one (not the first, see infra at 464 U. S. 337 ) in a series of decisions that may culminate in activities directly affecting that zone.


We are urged to focus first on the plain language of § 307(c)(1). Interior contends that "directly affecting" means "[h]av[ing] a [d]irect, [i]dentifiable [i]mpact on [t]he [c]oastal [z]one." Brief for Federal Petitioners 20. Respondents insist that the phrase means "[i]nitiat[ing] a [s]eries of [e]vents of [c]oastal [m]anagement [c]onsequence." Brief for Respondent State of California et al. 10. [ Footnote 7 ] But CZMA nowhere defines or explains which federal activities should be viewed as "directly affecting" the coastal zone, and the alternative verbal formulations proposed by the parties, both of which are superficially plausible, find no support in the Act itself.

We turn therefore to the legislative history. [ Footnote 8 ] A fairly detailed review is necessary, but that review persuades us that Congress did not intend OCS lease sales to fall within the ambit of CZMA § 307(c)(1).

In the CZMA bills first passed by the House and Senate, § 307(c)(1)'s consistency requirements extended only to federal activities "in" the coastal zone. The "directly affecting" standard appeared nowhere in § 307(c)(1)'s immediate antecedents. It was the House-Senate Conference Committee that replaced "in the coastal zone" with "directly affecting the coastal zone." Both Chambers then passed the Conference bill without discussing or even mentioning the change.

At first sight, the Conference's adoption of "directly affecting" appears to be a surprising, unexplained, and subsequently unnoticed expansion in the scope of § 307(c)(1), going beyond what was required by either of the versions of § 307(c)(1) sent to the Conference. But a much more plausible explanation for the change is available.

The explanation lies in the two different definitions of the "coastal zone." The bill the Senate sent to the Conference defined the coastal zone to exclude

lands the use of which is by law subject solely to the discretion of or which is held in trust by the Federal Government, its officers or agents. [ Footnote 9 ] This exclusion would reach federal parks, military installations, Indian reservations, and other federal lands that would lie within the coastal zone but for the fact of federal ownership. Under the Senate bill, activities on these lands would thus have been entirely exempt from compliance with state management plans. By contrast, the House bill's definition of 'coastal zone' included lands under federal jurisdiction; thus federal activities on those lands were to be fully subject to § 307(c)(1)'s consistency requirement. Under both bills, however, submerged lands on the OCS were entirely excluded from the coastal zone, and federal agency activities in those areas thus were exempt from § 307(c)(1)'s consistency requirement.

Against this background, the Conference Committee's change in § 307(c)(1) has all the markings of a simple compromise. The Conference accepted the Senate's narrower definition of the "coastal zone," but then expanded § 307(c)(1) to cover activities on federal lands not "in" but nevertheless "directly affecting," the zone. By all appearances, the intent was to reach at least some activities conducted in those federal enclaves excluded from the Senate's definition of the "coastal zone."

Though cryptic, the Conference Report's reference to the change in § 307(c)(1) fully supports this explanation.

The Conferees... adopted the Senate language... which made it clear that Federal lands are not included within a state's coastal zone. As to the use of such lands which would affect a state's coastal zone, the provisions of section 307(c) would apply.

H.R.Conf.Rep. No. 92-1544, p. 12 (1972) (emphasis added). In the entire Conference Report, this is the only mention of the definition of the coastal zone chosen by the Conference, and the only hint of an explanation for the change in § 307(c)(1). The "directly affecting" language was not deemed worthy of note by any Member of Congress in the subsequent floor debates. [ Footnote 10 ] The implication seems clear: "directly affecting" was used to strike a balance between two definitions of the "coastal zone." The legislative history thus strongly suggests that OCS leasing, covered by neither the House nor the Senate version of § 307(c)(1), was also intended to be outside the coverage of the Conference's compromise.

Nonetheless, the literal language of § 307(c)(1), read without reference to its history, is sufficiently imprecise to leave open the possibility that some types of federal activities conducted on the OCS could fall within § 307(c)(1)'s ambit. We need not, however, decide whether any OCS activities other than oil and gas leasing might be covered by § 307(c)(1), because further investigation reveals that, in any event, Congress expressly intended to remove the control of OCS resources from CZMA's scope.


If § 307(c)(1) and its history standing alone are less than crystalline, the history of other sections of the original CZMA bills impels a narrow reading of that clause. Every time it faced the issue in the CZMA debates, Congress deliberately and systematically insisted that no part of CZMA was to reach beyond the 3-mile territorial limit.

There are, first, repeated statements in the House and Senate floor debates that CZMA is concerned only with activities on land or in the territorial sea, not on the OCS, and that the allocation of state and federal jurisdiction over the coastal zone and the OCS was not to be changed in any way. [ Footnote 11 ] But Congress took more substantial and significant action as well. Congress debated and firmly rejected at least four proposals to extend parts of CZMA to reach OCS activities.

Section 313 of the House CZMA bill, as reported by Committee and passed by the House, embodied the most specific of these proposals. That section would have achieved explicitly what respondents now contend § 307(c)(1) achieves implicitly. It provided:

(a) The Secretary shall develop... a program for the management of the area outside the coastal zone and within twelve miles of the [coast]....

(b) To the extent that any part of the management program... shall apply to any high seas area, the subjacent seabed and subsoil of which lies within the seaward boundary of a coastal state,... the program shall be coordinated with the coastal state involved....

(c) The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, apply the program... to waters which are adjacent to specific areas in the coastal zone which have been designated by the states for the purpose of preserving or restoring such areas for their conservation, recreational, ecological, or esthetic values.

H.R. 14146, 92d Cong., 2d Sess., § 313 (1972), reprinted in H.R.Rep. No. 92-1049, p. 7 (1972).

Congressman Anderson of California, the drafter of this section and coauthor of the House CZMA bill, explained the section's purpose on the floor of the House. In light of the instant litigation, his comments were remarkably prescient. By 1972, Congressman Anderson pointed out, California had established seven marine sanctuaries, including one located near Santa Barbara, Cal., in the area allegedly threatened by the leases here in dispute.

These State-established sanctuaries, which extend from the coastline seaward to 3 miles, account for nearly a fourth of the entire California coast. However, the Federal Government has jurisdiction outside the State area, from 3 miles to 12 miles at sea. All too often, the Federal Government has allowed development and drilling to the detriment of the State program. A case in point is Santa Barbara, where California established a marine sanctuary banning the drilling of oil in the area under State authority. Yet, outside the sanctuary -in the federally controlled area -the Federal Government authorized drilling which resulted in the January, 1969, blowout. This dramatically illustrated the point that oil spills do not respect legal jurisdictional lines.

118 Cong.Rec. 26484 (1972). [ Footnote 12 ] House § 313, Congressman Anderson went on to explain, would play the crucial role of encouraging federal OCS oil and gas leasing to be conducted in a manner consistent with state management programs. Ibid.; see also id. at 26495, 35549-35550.

Since House § 313 would have provided respondents with precisely the protection they now seek here, it is significant that the Conference Committee, and ultimately the Congress as a whole, flatly rejected the provision. And the reason for the rejection, as explained in the Conference Report, was to forestall conflicts of the type before us now.

The Conferees... excluded [House § 313] authorizing a Federal management program for the contiguous zone of the United States, because the provisions relating thereto did not prescribe sufficient standards or criteria and would create potential conflicts with legislation already in existence concerning Continental Shelf resources.

H.R.Conf.Rep. No. 92-1544, p. 15 (1972) (emphasis added).

The House bill included another similar provision that would have been almost equally favorable to respondents here -had it not been rejected by the Conference and subsequently by Congress as a whole. Sections 312(b), (c), of the House bill invited the Secretary of Commerce to extend coastal zone marine sanctuaries established by the States into the OCS region. [ Footnote 13 ] But the Conference Committee rejected House § 312 as well. The Conference Report explained:

The Conferees agreed to delete the provisions of the House version relating to extension of estuarine sanctuaries, in view of the fact that the need for such provisions appears to be rather remote and could cause problems, since they would extend beyond the territorial limits of the United States.

H.R.Conf.Rep. No. 92-1544, pp. 14-15 (1972).

When the Conference bill returned to the House, with House §§ 312 and 313 deleted, Congressman Anderson expressed his dismay:

I am deeply disappointed that the Senate conferees would not accept the position of the House of Representatives regarding the extension of State-established marine sanctuaries to areas under Federal jurisdiction.... [W]e were successful, in committee, in adding a provision which I authored designed to protect State-established sanctuaries, such as exis[t] off Santa Barbara, Calif., from federally authorized development. This provision would have required the Secretary to apply the coastal zone program to waters immediately adjacent to the coastal waters of a State, which that State has designated for specific preservation purposes. It was accepted overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives despite the efforts of the oil and petroleum industry to defeat it. But what they failed to accomplish in the House, they accomplished in the conference committee....

118 Cong.Rec. 35549-35550 (1972).

In light of these comments by Congressman Anderson, and the express statement in the Conference Report that House § 313 was removed to avoid "conflicts with legislation already in existence concerning Continental Shelf resources," see supra at 464 U. S. 327, it is fanciful to suggest that the Conferees intended the "directly affecting" language of § 307(c)(1) to substitute for the House § 313's specific and considerably more detailed language. Certainly the author of House § 313 recognized that the amended § 307(c)(1) could not serve that purpose.

Two similar attempts to extend CZMA's reach beyond the coastal zone were made in the Senate. These, as well, were firmly rejected on the Senate floor or in Conference. [ Footnote 14 ]


To recapitulate, the "directly affecting" language in § 307(c)(1) was, by all appearances, only a modest compromise, designed to offset in part the narrower definition of the coastal zone favored by the Senate and adopted by the Conference Committee. Section 307(c)(1)'s "directly affecting" language was aimed at activities conducted or supported by federal agencies on federal lands physically situated in the coastal zone but excluded from the zone as formally defined by the Act. Consistent with this view, the same Conference Committee that wrote the "directly affecting" language rejected two provisions in the House bill that would have required precisely what respondents seek here -coordination of federally sponsored OCS activities with state coastal management and conservation programs. In light of the Conference Committee's further, systematic rejection of every other attempt to extend the reach of CZMA to the OCS, we are impelled to conclude that the 1972 Congress did not intend § 307(c)(1) to reach OCS lease sales. [ Footnote 15 ]



A broader reading of § 307(c)(1) is not compelled by the thrust of other CZMA provisions. First, it is clear beyond peradventure that Congress believed that CZMA's purposes could be adequately effectuated without reaching federal activities conducted outside the coastal zone. Both the Senate and House bills were originally drafted, debated, and passed, with § 307(c)(1) expressly limited to federal activities in the coastal zone. Broad arguments about CZMA's structure, the Act's incentives for the development of state management programs, and the Act's general aspirations for state-federal cooperation thus cannot support the expansive reading of § 307(c)(1) urged by respondents.

Moreover, a careful examination of the structure of CZMA § 307 suggests that lease sales are a type of federal agency activity not intended to be covered by § 307(c)(1) at all.

Section 307(c) contains three coordinated parts. Paragraph (1) refers to activities "conduct[ed] or support[ed]" by a federal agency. Paragraph (2) covers "development project[s]" "undertake[n]" by a federal agency. Paragraph (3) deals with activities by private parties authorized by a federal agency's issuance of licenses and permits. The first two paragraphs thus reach activities in which the federal agency is itself the principal actor, the third reaches the federally approved activities of third parties. Plainly, Interior's OCS lease sales fall in the third category. Section 307(c)(1) should therefore be irrelevant to OCS lease sales, if only because drilling for oil or gas on the OCS is neither "conduct[ed]" nor "support[ed]" by a federal agency. Section 307(c)(3), not § 307(c)(1), is the more pertinent provision. Respondents' suggestion that the consistency review requirement of § 307(c)(3) is focused only on the private applicants for permits or licenses, not federal agencies, is squarely contradicted by abundant legislative history and the language of § 307(c)(3) itself. [ Footnote 16 ]

CZMA § 307(c)(3) definitely does not require consistency review of OCS lease sales. As enacted in 1972, that section addressed the requirements to be imposed on federal licensees whose activities might affect the coastal zone. A federal agency may not issue a "license or permit" for any activity "affecting land or water uses in the coastal zone" without ascertaining that the activity is consistent with the state program or otherwise in the national interest. [ Footnote 17 ] Each affected State with an approved management program must concur in the issuance of the license or permit; a State's refusal to do so may be overridden only if the Secretary of Commerce finds that the proposed activity is consistent with CZMA's objectives or otherwise in the interest of national security. Significantly, § 307(c)(3) contained no mention of consistency requirements in connection with the sale of a lease.

In 1976, Congress expressly addressed -and preserved -that omission. Specific House and Senate Committee proposals to add the word "lease" to § 307(c)(3) were rejected by the House and ultimately by the Congress as a whole. [ Footnote 18 ] It is surely not for us to add to the statute what Congress twice decided to omit.

Instead of inserting the word "lease" in § 307(c)(3), the House-Senate Conference Committee renumbered the existing § 307(c)(3) as § 307(c)(3)(A), and added a second subparagraph, § 307(c)(3)(B). Respondents apparently concede that of these two subparagraphs, only the latter is now relevant to oil and gas activities on the OCS. Brief for Respondent State of California et al. 44, and n. 76; Brief for Respondent Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., et al. 7, n. 6. The new subparagraph § 307(c)(3)(B), however, provides only that applicants for federal licenses or permits to explore for, produce, or develop oil or gas on the OCS must first certify consistency with affected state plans. [ Footnote 19 ] Again, there is no suggestion that a lease sale by Interior requires any review of consistency with state management plans.


If the distinction between a sale of a "lease" and the issuance of a permit to "explore for," "produce," or "develop" oil or gas seems excessively fine, it is a distinction that Congress has codified with great care. CZMA § 307(c)(3)(B) expressly refers to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, 43 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq. (1976 ed., Supp. V) (OCSLA), so it is appropriate to turn to that Act for a clarification of the differences between a lease sale and the approval of a plan for "exploration," "development," or "production."

OCSLA was enacted in 1953 to authorize federal leasing of the OCS for oil and gas development. The Act was amended in 1978 to provide for the "expeditious and orderly development, subject to environmental safeguards," of resources on the OCS. 43 U.S.C. § 1332(3) (1976 ed., Supp. V). As amended, OCSLA confirms that, at least since 1978, the sale of a lease has been a distinct stage of the OCS administrative process, carefully separated from the issuance of a federal license or permit to explore for, develop, or produce gas or oil on the OCS.

Before 1978, OCSLA did not define the terms "exploration," "development," or "production." But it did define a "mineral lease" to be "any form of authorization for the exploration for, or development or removal of deposits of, oil, gas, or other minerals." 43 U.S.C. § 1331(c). The pre-1978 OCSLA did not specify what, if any, rights to explore, develop, or produce were transferred to the purchaser of a lease; the Act simply stated that a lease should "contain such rental provisions and such other terms and provisions as the Secretary may prescribe at the time of offering the area for lease." 43 U.S.C. § 1337(b)(4). Thus, before 1978, the sale by Interior of an OCS lease might well have engaged CZMA § 307(c)(3)(B) by including express or implied federal approval of a "plan for the exploration or development of, or production from" the leased tract. [ Footnote 20 ]

The leases in dispute here, however, were sold in 1981. By then it was quite clear that a lease sale by Interior did not involve the submission or approval of "any plan for the exploration or development of, or production from" the leased tract. Under the amended OCSLA, the purchase of a lease entitles the purchaser only to priority over other interested parties in submitting for federal approval a plan for exploration, production, or development. Actual submission and approval or disapproval of such plans occur separately and later.

Since 1978, there have been four distinct statutory stages to developing an offshore oil well: (1) formulation of a 5-year leasing plan by the Department of the Interior; (2) lease sales; (3) exploration by the lessees; (4) development and production. Each stage involves separate regulatory review that may, but need not, conclude in the transfer to lease purchasers of rights to conduct additional activities on the OCS. And each stage includes specific requirements for consultation with Congress, between federal agencies, or with the States. Formal review of consistency with state coastal management plans is expressly reserved for the last two stages.

(1) Preparation of a leasing program. The first stage of OCS planning is the creation of a leasing program. Interior is required to prepare a 5-year schedule of proposed OCS lease sales. 43 U.S.C. § 1344 (1976 ed., Supp. V). During the preparation of that program, Interior must solicit comments from interested federal agencies and the Governors of affected States, and must respond in writing to all comments or requests received from the State Governors. 43 U.S.C. § 1344(c) (1976 ed., Supp. V). The proposed leasing program is then submitted to the President and Congress, together with comments received by the Secretary from the Governor of the affected State. 43 U.S.C. § 1344(d)(2) (1976 ed., Supp. V).

Plainly, prospective lease purchasers acquire no rights to explore, produce, or develop at this first stage of OCSLA planning, and consistency review provisions of CZMA § 307(c)(3)(B) are therefore not engaged. There is also no suggestion that CZMA § 307(c)(1) consistency requirements operate here, though we note that preparation and submission to Congress of the leasing program could readily be characterized as "initiat[ing] a [s]eries of [e]vents of [c]oastal [m]anagement [c]onsequence." Brief for Respondent State of California et al. 10.

(2) Lease sales. The second stage of OCS planning -the stage in dispute here -involves the solicitation of bids and the issuance of offshore leases. 43 U.S.C. § 1337(a) (1976 ed., Supp. V). Requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act must be met first. The Governor of any affected State is given a formal opportunity to submit recommendations regarding the "size, timing, or location" of a proposed lease sale. 43 U.S.C. § 1345(a) (1976 ed., Supp. V). Interior is required to accept these recommendations if it determines they strike a reasonable balance between the national interest and the wellbeing of the citizens of the affected State. 43 U.S.C. § 1345 (c) (1976 ed., Supp. V). Local governments are also permitted to submit recommendations, and the Secretary "may" accept these. 43 U.S.C. §§ 1345(a), (c) (1976 ed., Supp. V). The Secretary may then proceed with the actual lease sale. Lease purchasers acquire the right to conduct only limited "preliminary" activities on the OCS -geophysical and other surveys that do not involve seabed penetrations greater than 300 feet and that do not result in any significant environmental impacts. 30 CFR § 250.34-1 (1982).

Again, there is no suggestion that these activities, in themselves, "directly affect" the coastal zone. But by purchasing a lease, lessees acquire no right to do anything more. Under the plain language of OCSLA, the purchase of a lease entails no right to proceed with full exploration, development, or production that might trigger CZMA § 307(c)(3)(B); the lessee acquires only a priority in submitting plans to conduct those activities. If these plans, when ultimately submitted, are disapproved, no further exploration or development is permitted.

(3) Exploration. The third stage of OCS planning involves review of more extensive exploration plans submitted to Interior by lessees. 43 U.S.C. § 1340 (1976 ed., Supp. V). Exploration may not proceed until an exploration plan has been approved. A lessee's plan must include a certification that the proposed activities comply with any applicable state management program developed under CZMA. OCSLA expressly provides for federal disapproval of a plan that is not consistent with an applicable state management plan unless the Secretary of Commerce finds that the plan is consistent with CZMA goals or in the interest of national security. 43 U.S.C. § 1340(c)(2) (1976 ed., Supp. V). The plan must also be disapproved if it would "probably cause serious harm or damage... to the marine, coastal, or human environment...." 43 U.S.C. §§ 1334(a)(2)(A)(i), 1340(c)(1) (1976 ed., Supp. V). If a plan is disapproved for the latter reason, the Secretary may "cancel such lease and the lessee shall be entitled to compensation... " 43 U.S.C. § 1340(c)(1) (1976 ed., Supp. V).

There is, of course, no question that CZMA consistency review requirements operate here. CZMA § 307(c)(3)(B) expressly applies, and as noted, OCSLA itself refers to the applicable CZMA provision.

(4) Development and production. The fourth and final stage is development and production. 43 U.S.C. § 1351 (1976 ed., Supp. V). The lessee must submit another plan to Interior. The Secretary must forward the plan to the Governor of any affected State and, on request, to the local governments of affected States, for comment and review. 43 U.S.C. §§ 1345(a), 1351(a)(3) (1976 ed., Supp. V). Again, the Governor's recommendations must be accepted, and the local governments' may be accepted, if they strike a reasonable balance between local and national interests. Reasons for accepting or rejecting a Governor's recommendations must be communicated in writing to the Governor. 43 U.S.C. § 1345(c) (1976 ed., Supp. V). In addition, the development and production plan must be consistent with the applicable state coastal management program. The State can veto the plan as "inconsistent," and the veto can be overridden only by the Secretary of Commerce. 43 U.S.C. § 1351(d) (1976 ed., Supp. V). A plan may also be disapproved if it would "probably cause serious harm or damage... to the marine, coastal or human environments." 43 U.S.C. § 1351(h)(1)(D)(i) (1976 ed., Supp. V). If a plan is disapproved for the latter reason, the lease may again be canceled, and the lessee is entitled to compensation. 43 U.S.C. § 1351(h)(2)(C) (1976 ed., Supp. V).

Once again, the applicability of CZMA to this fourth stage of OCS planning is not in doubt. CZMA § 307(c)(3)(B) applies by its own terms, and is also expressly invoked by OCSLA.

Congress has thus taken pains to separate the various federal decisions involved in formulating a leasing program, conducting lease sales, authorizing exploration, and allowing development and production. Since 1978, the purchase of an OCS lease, standing alone, entails no right to explore for, develop, or produce oil and gas resources on the OCS. The first two stages are not subject to consistency review; instead, input from State Governors and local governments is solicited by the Secretary of the Interior. The last two stages invite further input for Governors or local governments, but also require formal consistency review. States with approved CZMA plans retain considerable authority to veto inconsistent exploration or development and production plans put forward in those latter stages. [ Footnote 21 ] The stated reason for this four-part division was to forestall premature litigation regarding adverse environmental effects that all agree will flow, if at all, only from the latter stages of OCS exploration and production. [ Footnote 22 ]


Having examined the coordinated provisions of CZMA § 307(c)(3) and OCSLA, we return to CZMA § 307(c)(1).

As we have noted, the logical paragraph to examine in connection with a lease sale is not § 307(c)(1), but § 307(c)(3). Nevertheless, even if OCS lease sales are viewed as involving an OCS activity "conduct[ed]" or "support[ed]" by a federal agency, lease sales can no longer aptly be characterized as "directly affecting" the coastal zone. Since 1978, the sale of a lease grants the lessee the right to conduct only very limited, "preliminary activities" on the OCS. It does not authorize full-scale exploration, development, or production. Those activities may not begin until separate federal approval has been obtained, and approval may be denied on several grounds. If approval is denied, the lease may then be canceled, with or without the payment of compensation to the lessee. In these circumstances, the possible effects on the coastal zone that may eventually result from the sale of a lease cannot be termed "direct."

It is argued, nonetheless, that a lease sale is a crucial step. Large sums of money change hands, and the sale may therefore generate momentum that makes eventual exploration, development, and production inevitable. On the other side, it is argued that consistency review at the lease sale stage is, at best, inefficient, and at worst impossible: leases are sold before it is certain if, where, or how exploration will actually occur.

The choice between these two policy arguments is not ours to make; it has already been made by Congress. In the 1978, OCSLA amendments Congress decided that the better course is to postpone consistency review until the two later stages of OCS planning, and to rely on less formal input from State Governors and local governments in the two earlier ones. It is not for us to negate the lengthy, detailed, and coordinated provisions of CZMA § 307(c)(3)(B), and OCSLA, 43 U.S.C. §§ 1344-1346 and 1351 (1976 ed., Supp. V), by a superficially plausible, but ultimately unsupportable, construction of two words in CZMA § 307(c)(1).


Collaboration among state and federal agencies is certainly preferable to confrontation in or out of the courts. In view of the substantial consistency requirements imposed at the exploration, development, and production stages of OCS planning, Interior, as well as private bidders on OCS leases, might be well advised to ensure in advance that anticipated OCS operations can be conducted harmoniously with state coastal management programs. [ Footnote 23 ] But our review of the history of CZMA § 307(c)(1), and the coordinated structures of the amended CZMA and OCSLA, persuade us that Congress did not intend § 307(c)(1) to mandate consistency review at the lease sale stage.

Accordingly, the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is reversed insofar as it requires petitioners to conduct consistency review pursuant to CZMA § 307(c)(1) before proceeding with Lease Sale No. 53.

It is so ordered.


* Together with No. 82-1327, Western Oil & Gas Association et al. v. California et al., and No. 82-1511, California et al. v. Secretary of the Interior et al., also on certiorari to the same court.

[ Footnote 1 ]

Four of the objectionable tracts were combined as two for sale purposes, so the Commission's conclusion was actually directed to 29 sale tracts. California v. Watt, 520 F.Supp. 1359, 1367 (CD Cal.1981).

[ Footnote 2 ]

Again, the objection encompassed only 32 sale tracts. Ibid.

[ Footnote 3 ]

The litigation was instituted through separate but similar complaints filed by the State of California and by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Sea Otter, and the Environmental Coalition on Lease Sale No. 53. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief against the Secretary of the Interior and two other officials within the Department of the Interior. The Department itself, and the Bureau of Land Management, were also named as defendants. Western Oil and Gas Association, a regional trade association, and 12 of its members, intervened as defendants. Subsequently, various local governmental entities within California intervened as plaintiffs in the case commenced by the State.

Petitioner-defendants (hereafter petitioners) state their disagreement with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's holding that environmental groups and local governments have standing to sue under CZMA § 307(c)(1), but do not challenge that standing decision here. Since the State of California clearly does have standing, we need not address the standing of the other respondents, whose position here is identical to the State's.

[ Footnote 4 ]

Respondents claimed below that petitioners had also violated four other federal statutes. The District Court ruled for the defendants on those four claims, and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment on the non-CZMA claims that were appealed. Those claims are not presented here.

[ Footnote 5 ]

The Court of Appeals went on to rule that the Federal Government, not the State, makes the final determination as to whether a federal activity is consistent "to the maximum extent practicable" with the state management program. In view of our conclusion that a lease sale is not subject to § 307(c)(1)'s consistency review requirements, we need not decide who holds final authority to determine when sufficient consistency has been achieved.

[ Footnote 6 ]

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce is the federal agency charged with administering CZMA. See 16 U.S.C. § 1463 (1982 ed). Under normal circumstances, NOAA's understanding of the meaning of CZMA § 307(c)(1) would be entitled to deference by the courts. But in construing § 307(c)(1), the agency has walked a path of such tortured vacillation and indecision that no help is to be gained in that quarter.

In 1977, NOAA expressly declined to take a position on the applicability of § 307(c)(1) to the leasing process. See 42 Fed.Reg. 43591-43592 (1977). In 1978, NOAA issued regulations purporting to clarify § 307(c)(1), but the agency expressly acknowledged that the applicability of the section to lease sales was "still under consideration." 43 Fed.Reg. 10512 (1978). Interior nevertheless objected to the new verbal formulation of "directly affecting" that NOAA had proposed, and the interdepartmental dispute was submitted to the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). OLC rejected crucial portions of NOAA's regulations as inconsistent with the statutory language, and those portions were withdrawn by NOAA. App. 45-46; 44 Fed.Reg. 37142 (1979). In 1980, NOAA noted its view that OCS sales trigger consistency review requirements in a letter from NOAA to State Coastal Management Program Directors (Apr. 9, 1980). NOAA later renewed its attempt to arrive at a general definition of "directly affecting." Two weeks after the instant litigation commenced, NOAA took the position that lease sales do not directly affect the coastal zone. 46 Fed.Reg. 26660 (1981). But shortly after the regulation was published in final form, id. at 35253, the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries exercised a "legislative veto," see 16 U.S.C. § 1463a (1982 ed.), and the agency withdrew its regulation. 47 Fed.Reg. 4231 (1982).

[ Footnote 7 ]

This formulation finds support in 1980 House and Senate Reports. H.R.Rep. No. 96-1012, p. 34; S.Rep. No. 96-783, p. 11. For reasons explained in n 15, infra, we do not believe these Committee views, articulated many years after CZMA's passage, are reliable guides to the intent of the full Congress acting in 1972.

[ Footnote 8 ]

As discussed infra at 464 U. S. 331 -341, other sections of CZMA, as well as related provisions in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, have been significantly amended since 1972. But § 307(c)(1) has not been changed since its enactment. Our decision must therefore turn principally on the language of § 307(c)(1) and the legislative history of the original, 1972 CZMA.

[ Footnote 9 ]

S. 3507, 92d Cong., 2d Sess., § 304(a) (1972), reprinted at 118 Cong.Rec. 14188 (1972). The Senate's definition is now codified (with subsequent minor amendments) in 16 U.S.C. § 1453(1) (1982 ed.).

There was language in an earlier Senate Report (not the final CZMA Senate Report) urging that federal activities determined to have a "functional interrelationship" with the coastal zone "should" be administered consistently with approved state management programs. S.Rep. No. 92-526, pp. 20, 30 (1971). Nine years later, a House Report reiterated the "functional interrelationship" standard. H.R.Rep. No. 96-1012, p. 34 (1980). But the Senate Report's language was purely precatory. It used "should," rather than the "shall" that actually appears in § 307(c)(1), and more importantly, was written in connection with a Senate bill that would have entirely exempted activities on all federal lands from § 307(c)(1)'s mandate. It is fanciful to suggest that an early Senate Report should be read as endorsing an expansive interpretation of § 307(c)(1)'s "directly affecting" language when the Senate bill that the Report accompanied did not include the relevant phrase and indisputably did not reach OCS lease sales.

[ Footnote 10 ]

On the other hand, in comments on the floor made before the House acted on the post-Conference bill, Congressman Mosher stated:

The final version in no way affects the jurisdictional responsibilities of... the Department of the Interior in regard to the administration of Federal lands, since the conferees have specifically eliminated those land areas from the definition of coastal zone.

118 Cong.Rec. 35548 (1972).

[ Footnote 11 ]

See, e.g., id. at 14180 ("This bill covers the territorial seas; it does not cover the Outer Continental Shelf") (remark of Sen. Stevens); id. at 14184 (facilities in the "contiguous zone" "would be outside the jurisdiction of the neighboring States") (remark of Sen. Boggs); ibid. ("this bill attempts to deal with the Territorial Sea, not the Outer Continental Shelf") (remark of Sen. Moss); id. at 14185 ("we wanted to make certain that Federal jurisdiction was unimpaired beyond the 3-mile limit in the territorial sea") (remark of Sen. Hollings); ibid. ("this bill focuses on the territorial sea or the area that is within State jurisdiction, and preserves the Federal jurisdiction beyond, which is not to be considered or disturbed by the bill at this time") (remark of Sen. Moss); id. at 26479 ("the measure does not diminish Federal or State jurisdiction, responsibility, or rights under other programs and does not supersede, modify, or repeal existing Federal law") (remark of Cong. Mosher); id. at 26484 ("the Federal Government has jurisdiction outside the State area, from 3 miles to 12 miles at sea") (remark of Cong. Anderson); id. at 35548 ("The final version [of CZMA] in no way affects the jurisdictional responsibilities of... the Department of Interior in regard to the administration of Federal lands, since the conferees have specifically eliminated those land areas from the definition of coastal zone") (remark of Cong. Mosher); id. at 35550 ("the Federal Government has jurisdiction outside the State area, from 3 to 12 miles at sea") (remark of Cong. Anderson).

[ Footnote 12 ]

Congressman Anderson repeated these remarks when he opposed an amendment that would have weakened House § 312, id. at 26495, and again when he expressed his concern over the removal of House § 312 by the Senate-House Conference, id. at 35550.

[ Footnote 13 ]

The section provided:

(b) When an estuarine sanctuary is established by a coastal state... the Secretary, at the request of the state concerned,... may extend the established estuarine sanctuary seaward beyond the coastal zone, to the extent necessary to effectuate the purposes for which the estuarine sanctuary was established.

(c) The Secretary shall... assure that the development and operation [of the sanctuary extension] is coordinated with the development and operation of the estuarine sanctuary of which it forms an extension.

H.R. 14146, 92d Cong., 2d Sess., §§ 312(b), (c) (1972), reprinted in H.R.Rep. No. 92-1049, p. 7 (1972).

[ Footnote 14 ]

An amendment to CZMA proposed by Senator Boggs on the Senate floor would have given respondents all that they are asking for here. The amendment stated:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no Federal department or agency shall construct, or license, or lease, or approve in any way the construction of any facility of any kind beyond the territorial sea off the coast of the United States until (1) such department or agency has filed with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a complete report with respect to the proposed facility; (2) the Administrator has forwarded such report to the Governor of each adjacent coastal State which might be adversely affected by pollution from such facility; and (3) each such Governor has filed an approval of such proposal with the Administrator....

118 Cong.Rec. 14183 (1972). In proposing the amendment Senator Boggs explained his concern with offshore oil transfer terminals located at sites outside the 3-mile territorial limit.

Such sites, of course, would place these facilities in the contiguous zone, or in international waters on the Continental Shelf. If that were so, of course, the facility would be outside the jurisdiction of the neighboring States. Yet, the coastal zones of these neighboring States could be severely and adversely affected by pollution that might come from such an offshore facility.... I believe it is important that the affected States play a meaningful role in the plan to construct such a facility.

Id. at 14184.

But other Senators immediately attacked Senator Boggs' amendment. Senator Hollings stated:

The amendment... goes beyond the territorial sea and goes into what we agreed on and compromised on awhile ago. It goes beyond any territorial sea to construction of any facility on the ocean floor, into what we call a contiguous zone from the 3-mile limit to the 12-mile limit. This amendment provides the Governor would have a veto over such matters. I do not think the Senate wants to go that far.

Ibid. Senator Moss agreed: "[T]his bill attempts to deal with the Territorial Sea, not the Outer Continental Shelf." Ibid. In response, Senator Boggs conceded that the problem should be addressed in other legislation, and he withdrew the proposed amendment. Ibid.

In addition, § 316(c)(1) of the Senate bill as amended on the floor of the Senate called on the National Academy of Sciences 'to undertake a full investigation of the environmental hazards attendant on offshore drilling on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.' S. 3507, 92d Cong., 2d Sess., § 316(c)(1) (1972), reprinted in 118 Cong.Rec. 14191 (1972). In the Senate debate, several Senators voiced their opposition even to this modest venture outside the coastal zone. Senator Stevens, for example, argued that the provision was inappropriate because the OCS 'is not even covered by this bill. This bill covers the territorial seas; it does not cover the Outer Continental Shelf.' 14180. Senator Moss added: [S]ince the State coastal zone management programs relate only to the territorial sea, we should, therefore, be very careful of a study which extends beyond the territorial sea to encompass the Continental Shelf.

Id. at 14181. Again, the Conference Committee agreed; it deleted Senate § 316(c) without comment in the Conference Report. On the floor of the House, Congressman Downing explained that the provision had been deleted "as nongermane." Id. at 35547.

[ Footnote 15 ]

Respondents rely heavily on four statements that appear in Committee Reports issued years after CZMA was enacted.

(1) A 1975 Senate Report stated:

The Committee's intent when the 1972 Act was passed was for the consistency clause to apply to Federal leases for offshore oil and gas development, since such leases were viewed by the Committee to be within the phrase 'licenses or permits' [in § 307(c)(3)]. [The Report then discusses the proposed amendment that would insert 'lease' into § 307(c)(3).] In practical terms, this [amendment] means that the Secretary of the Interior would need to seek the certification of consistency from adjacent State governors before entering into a binding lease agreement with private oil companies.

S.Rep. No. 94-277, pp.19-20 (1975).

(2) One footnote in a 323-page House Report that accompanied the 1978 amendments to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 stated:

The committee is aware that under the [CZMA] certain OCS activities including lease sales and approval of development and production plans must comply with 'consistency' requirements as to coastal zone management plans approved by the Secretary of Commerce. Except for specific changes made by Titles IV and V of the 1977 Amendments, nothing in this Act is intended to amend, modify or repeal any provision of [CZMA]. Specifically, nothing is intended to alter procedures under that Act for consistency once a State has an approved Coastal Zone Management Plan.

H.R.Rep. No. 95-590, p. 153, n. 52 (1977).

(3) A 1980 House Report stated that the 1976 CZMA § 307 amendments

did not alter Federal agency responsibility to provide States with a consistency determination related to OCS decisions which preceded issuance of leases.

H.R.Rep. No. 96-1012, p. 28.

(4) A 1980 Senate Report stated that, under CZMA,

[t]he Department of the Interior's activities which preced[e] lease sales... remain subject to the requirements of section 307(c)(1). As a result, intergovernmental coordination for purposes of OCS development commences at the earliest practicable time in the opinion of the Committee, as the Department of the Interior sets in motion a series of events which have consequences in the coastal zone. S.Rep. No. 96-783, p. 11.

In our view, these subsequent Committee interpretations of CZMA, written three or more years after CZMA was passed, are of little help in ascertaining the intent of Congress when CZMA § 307(c)(1) was passed in 1972. We note that the most relevant and unambiguous statement of the House Committee's views appeared in House §§ 312 and 313 as originally reported out of Committee and passed by the House. But those sections were emphatically rejected by the full Congress when CZMA was enacted in 1972, see supra at 464 U. S. 324 -329, and Committee-proposed amendments that would have had a similar effect were rejected when the Act was amended in 1976, see infra at 464 U. S. 334 -335, and n. 18. Likewise, by 1976, the Senate Committee had taken a position favoring the extension of consistency review requirements to lease sales, see ibid., but that position too was subsequently rejected by the full Congress, see n 18 infra. Legislative Committees' desires to reaffirm positions they have taken that were rejected by the full Congress are understandable enough, but of little help in construing the intent behind the law actually enacted.

[ Footnote 16 ]

Both the original § 307(c)(3) and the amended § 307(c)(3)(B), see infra at 464 U. S. 335, and n.19, expressly address and constrain the actions of federal agencies.

No license or permit shall be granted by the Federal agency until the state... has concurred with the applicant's [consistency] certification....

16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3) (1982 ed.).

No Federal official or agency shall grant such person any license or permit for any activity... until [the affected] state... receives a copy of [the applicant's certification of consistency and concurs in the certification or is overridden by the Secretary of Commerce].

16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3)(B) (1982 ed.). Moreover, in the 1976 CZMA amendment debates, Members of Congress uniformly viewed § 307(c)(3) as directly concerned with the consistency obligations of federal agencies. When Congress considered adding the word "lease" to § 307(c)(3), the shared assumption was that consistency requirements in § 307(c)(3) were functionally identical to those of § 307(c)(1). One Senator was of the view that the proposed amendment would "mak[e] it clear that Outer Continental Shelf leasing is a Federal activity subject to the Federal consistency provision...." 121 Cong.Rec. 23075 (1975). Another commented that the addition to § 307(c)(3) would establish that "Federal agencies must conduct their activities consistent with" applicable state management programs. Id. at 23084. The Senate Report stated that the proposed § 307(c)(3) amendment,

[i]n practical terms,... means that the Secretary of the Interior would need to seek the certification of consistency from adjacent State governors before entering into a binding lease agreement with private oil companies.

S.Rep. No. 94-277, p. 20 (1975). And the House Report stated that the amendment would establish that

the OCS leasing process is indeed a federal action that undoubtedly has the potential for affecting a state's coastal zone and, hence, must conform with approved state coastal management programs.

H.R.Rep. No. 94-878, p. 37 (1976); see also id. at 52-53.

[ Footnote 17 ]

[A]ny applicant for a required Federal license or permit to conduct an activity affecting land or water uses in the coastal zone... shall provide in the application to the licensing or permitting agency a certification that the proposed activity... will be conducted in a manner consistent with [the approved state management] program.... At the earliest practicable time, the state... shall notify the Federal agency concerned that the state concurs with or objects to the applicant's certification.... No license or permit shall be granted by the Federal agency until the state... has concurred with the applicant's certification... unless the Secretary... finds... that the activity is consistent with the objectives of [CZMA] or is otherwise necessary in the interest of national security.

16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3) (1982 ed.).

[ Footnote 18 ]

The bills reported out of House and Senate Committees would have inserted the word "lease" in § 307(c)(3). See H.R.Rep. No. 94-878, pp. 52-53 (1976); S.Rep. No. 94-277, pp.19-20 (1975). The proposal passed the Senate, but was removed on the floor of the House. 122 Cong.Rec. 6128 (1976).

The Conference Committee decided not to introduce "lease" into § 307(c)(3). Instead, the Committee created the new § 307(c)(3)(B). The Conference Report explained:

The conference substitute follows the Senate bill in amending the Federal consistency requirement [of] section 307(c)(3).... The Senate bill required that each Federal lease (for example, offshore oil and gas leases) had to be submitted to each state with an approved coastal zone management program for a determination by that state as to whether or not the lease was consistent with its program. The conference substitute further elaborates on this provision and specifically applies the consistency requirement to the basic steps in the OCS leasing process -namely, the exploration, development and production plans submitted to the Secretary of the Interior. This provision will satisfy the state needs for complete information, on a timely basis, about the details of the oil industry's offshore plans.

H.R.Conf.Rep. No. 94-1298, p. 30 (1976).

[ Footnote 19 ]

[A]ny person who submits to the Secretary of the Interior any plan for the exploration or development of, or production from, any area which has been leased under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act... shall, with respect to any exploration, development, or production described in such plan and affecting any land use or water use in the coastal zone... [certify] that each activity... complies with [the] state's approved management program.... No Federal official or agency shall grant such person any license or permit for any activity... until [the state concurs or]... the Secretary finds... that each activity... is consistent with the objectives of [CZMA] or is otherwise necessary in the interest of national security.

16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3)(B) (1982 ed.).

[ Footnote 20 ]

As discussed infra at 464 U. S. 339, § 11 of the OCSLA, 43 U.S.C. § 1340 (1976 ed., Supp. V), as amended in 1978, added a requirement for the submission and separate approval of an exploration plan following the purchase of a lease. However, that section made the requirements prospective only, to come into force 90 days after September 18, 1978. 43 U.S.C. § 1340(b) (1976 ed., Supp. V). Similarly, the 1978 OCSLA amendments required oil or gas leases to provide that development and production be conducted only in accordance with a subsequently submitted and approved plan, but extended this requirement only to leases issued after September 18, 1978. 43 U.S.C. § 1351(b) (1976 ed., Supp. V).

[ Footnote 21 ]

OCSLA contains a saving clause that provides:

Except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to amend, modify, or repeal any provision of [CZMA].

43 U.S.C. § 1866(a) (1976 ed., Supp. V). Our analysis of CZMA § 307(c)(1) is entirely consistent with this clause. A narrow construction of "directly affecting" is compelled by CZMA's legislative history, standing alone. It is reinforced by CZMA § 307(c)(3), which expressly addresses the consistency review requirements to be imposed on OCS oil and gas programs. Section 307(c)(3) provides for consistency review prior to exploration, development, and production, not prior to lease sales. CZMA itself invokes OCSLA, so it is appropriate to look to that Act for the distinction between lease sales on the one hand, and exploration, development, and production permits on the other. OCSLA confirms that a lease sale is a separate, distinct stage of QCS planning, not to be confused with exploration, development, or production. The 1978 OCSLA amendments are relevant not because they change any part of CZMA, but because they change, or at least substantially clarify, the rights transferred by Interior when a lease is sold.

[ Footnote 22 ]

The House Report accompanying the 1978 OCSLA amendments explained:

[The consistency review provision imposed at the production stage] is intended to provide the mechanism for review and evaluation of, and decision on, development and production in a leased area, after consultation and coordination with all affected parties. The committee considers this one of the most important provisions of the 1977 amendments. It provides a means to separate the Federal decision to allow private industry to explore for oil and gas from the Federal decision to allow development and production to proceed if the lessee finds oil and gas. The failure to have such a mechanism in the past has led to extensive litigation prior to lease sales, when onshore and environmental impacts of production activity are not yet known.

H.R.Rep. No. 95-590, p. 164 (1977).

[ Footnote 23 ]

In his comments regarding the House's 1976 refusal to add the word "lease" to CZMA § 307(c)(3), Congressman Murphy noted that,

even if an organization had a lease, it could not do much with it, because the licenses and permits are required to deal with the development of oil on the Continental Shelf.

122 Cong.Rec. 6128 (1976).

The California Coastal Commission is also well aware of its power to demand consistency at later stages in OCS planning. In voicing its objections to the sale of the 31 disputed tracts the Commission warned:

Any attempt to explore or develop these tracts will face the strong possibility of an objection to a consistency certification of the Plan of Exploration or Development by the Commission.

App. 79.

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