Rep. Phil Sharp (D-Ind.), chairman of the House energy and power subcommittee, has filed a bill in Congress to provide a forced pooling mechanism for coalbed methane. "The major barrier to coalbed methane recovery is the issue of who owns the methane," Sharp said. The bill would provide a forced pooling mechanism, modeled after a statute recently passed in Virginia, for encouraging development and resolving ownership questions at the same time. It also seeks to protect the rights of coal owners or operators to ensure coalbed methane development is consistent with mine safety and production of the value of the coal resource. O...

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