Coalbed methane drilling pushed
Facebook Twitter Email

The Department of Interior is trying to resolve conflicts between the energy industry and ranchers and farmers who say coalbed methane drilling hurts the land, a top-level official said on Thursday.

But Rebecca Watson, who oversees the Bureau of Land Management, said drilling companies have superior claims. She told a conference in Colorado that subsurface mineral rights outweigh surface rights.

In Montana and Wyoming, ranchers, farmers and users of federal land are worried about the discharge of water used in the drilling process. They say it hurts crops.

The BLM and Montana are finalizing water standards. The EPA is working on its own regulations which will affect development in Indian Country.

Get the Story:
Coal-bed methane touted as key to hiking energy production (AP 4/4)

Relevant Links:
Montana DEQ Coal Bed Methane Plan -
Coalbed Methane, Region 8 -

Related Stories:
Tribes host coalbed methane meetings (4/4)
Halt in methane drilling sought (2/21)
Coal methane plan released (2/20)
EPA meets with tribes on drilling (2/14)
Mont. tribe pushing water standards (1/23)
Mont. tribe developing water standards (12/20)
Methane standards to affect tribes (9/26)