2004 Alaska Legislature -- Coal Bed Methane Gas Bills
(Links to Committee Membership under "Committee Referrals," Links to Committee Audio Archives under
 "Bill Status," & Links to Committee Minutes under "Analysis")

Home | CBM Bills Passed Prior to 2004 |

Bill# Sponsor(s) Intro Date Description Notes Committee Referrals Bill Status BASIS Link Analysis
HB 354 Kohring 1/2/04 Limitation of Access to Private Land by CBM Leaseholder & Water Supply Protection This bill has been pulled by Kohring. N/A Not Introduced HB 354
HB 364 Seaton 1/2/04 Moratorium on CBM Gas Leases on the Kenai Peninsula An Act establishing a moratorium on the issuance of state shallow natural gas leases in the vicinity of Kachemak Bay, and precluding the commissioner of DNR from reissuing or otherwise extending leases within the moratorium area if the leases fail to produce gas in paying quantities within the terms of the lease or if there is a breach of a term or condition of the lease.

The original version of the bill directed DNR to reacquire shallow natural gas leases on the Kenai Peninsula within the moratorium area. The buyback provision was deleted by Rep Seaton in a "sponsor substitute" bill because the original was "stalled." The deletion was great step backwards; still, the leases in the Mat-Su Valley should be included in this bill.

CSHB 364(O&G) moved Out of Committee to (H) RES on 4/01/04. Speaker removed (H) FIN referral on 4/14/04. CSSSHB 364(O&G) moved Out of RES Committee on 4/23/04. CSSSHB 364(O&G) was passed by the House and transmitted to the Senate on 4/30/04. Referred to (S) State Affairs on 5/1/04. CSSSHB 364(O&G) moved out of (S) STA to (S) RES on 5/5/04.

(FIN ref.
removed on


(ref. added
on 5//05)

Hrgs: (H) Oil & Gas
*held 3/09
*held 4/01
*held 4/23
*held 5/04

but not heard.

HB 364

Bill Text


HB 370 Gara 1/9/04 CBM Developer activities required to comply with Municipal regulations; Protection of Access & Water Supply; Rescinds DNR's ability to waive local regulations An Act protecting fish-bearing surface water and public access to and enjoyment of recreational water, fish habitat water, and water related to hunting activities, if the water may be affected by shallow natural gas exploration and development, and requiring that the disposal of the water produced by dewatering of coal seams in order to recover methane comply with requirements intended to protect surface water; requiring that shallow natural gas exploration and development activities comply with municipal land use regulations, and repealing provisions under which the commissioner of natural resources may waive the application of local planning requirements with respect to shallow natural gas development. O&G, RES Ref to (H) Oil & Gas (1/12) HB 370 Bill Text
HB 395 Harris, Gatto, Stoltze, Seaton,

2/26 add:


1/23/04 Repairs some of the damage done by previous CBM bills railroaded thru the legislature which took away property rights & local control. Basically, a fig leaf for legislators which leaves industry with most of the cards An Act relating to CBM gas leasing & regulation of operations. Public forum process created for informal resolution of complaints; Permitted CBM well depth reduced back to 3,000'; Public notice required for lease applications & lease awards; Establishes setbacks, noise mitigation & fees to be paid owners for wellheads & compressors located on their property -- however, if owner withholds agreement, developer can enter property after posting bond. Developer required to restore damage to property (no mention made of owner's remedy if developer fails to follow agreement or restore property damage; also, developer not required to compensate owner for loss in property value); Repeals provisions under which DNR commissioner may waive local planning requirements.

CSHB 395(O&G) moved Out of Committee to (H) RES on 3/09. CSHB 395(RES) moved Out of Committee on 4/16. Speaker waived the (H) JUD  referral on 4/22. (H) FIN moved CSHB 395(FIN) Out of Committee on 4/27/04. CSHB 395(FIN) AM passed House & transmitted to Senate on 4/30/04. Referred to (S) RES on 5/1/04. 

(JUD ref.
removed on

(S) RES,



Hrgs: (H) Oil&Gas *held 2/05
*held 2/24
*held 2/26
*held 3/09
*held 4/07
*held 4/14
*held 4/16
*held 4/26
*held 4/27

but not heard.

HB 395 Bill Text

part 1
part 2


Robin McLean


HB 420 Oil & Gas Committee, Kohring (Chair) 2/2/04 Shallow Natural Gas Recovery Activities An Act relating to recovery of shallow natural gas. Requires written advance notice to property owner at least 30 days before initial entry by lessee. Requires property owner to test well for water purity & flow and keep test record to be eligible for reimbursement of any future costs of remedying well contamination or alteration. New tax on CBM gas extracted by a producer - not to exceed $250,000 - to be used to pay for contamination & alteration damages if they "appear to be the probable hydrologic consequences of the lessee's activities." Note: this bill was included in a Committee Substitute for HB 395 (23-LS1314W) on 3/24/04. O&G, RES, FIN Hrg (H) Oil&Gas, *held 2/05

Committee minutes:
see HB 395

HB 420 now  included in CS HB 395

HB 420 Bill Text


HB 531 Resources,
Dahlstrom & Masek,
3/4/04 "An Act relating to natural gas exploration and development and to nonconventional gas, and amending the section under which shallow natural gas leases may be issued" The most recent CBM legislation to be introduced, this bill is the House version of SB 312. Amended in (H) O&G on 4/1/04 to create a split program with Anchorage, Fairbanks, Mat-Su & Kenai Boroughs falling under the new legislation and "rural" areas of the state falling under the present CBM program.

CSHB 531(O&G) moved Out of Committee to (H) RES on 4/1/04. CSHB 531(RES) moved Out of Committee to (H) FIN on 4/16. CSHB 531(FIN) AM passed House & transmitted to Senate on 4/30/04. Referred to (S) RES on 5/1/04. SCS CSHB 531 (RES) moved Out of (S) RES on 5/4/04. SCS CSHB 531(FIN) referred to (S) Rules on 5/6/04. Moved from (S) Rules to calendar on 5/8/04.
Passed Senate on 5/9/04 (Y-18, N-0, E-2).
SCS CSHB 531(FIN), as amended, transmitted to House on 5/10/04. Awaits concurrence in House.



Hrgs (H) Oil&Gas
*held 3/16
*held 3/18
*held 4/01

*held 4/14
*held 4/16
*held 4/26
*held 4/27
*held 5/04
*held 5/05
*held 5/06
HB 531 Bill Text
HB 524 Governor
2/26/04 Waste Management/Disposal "An Act relating to the protection of land and water from waste disposal; providing for the regulation of waste management; making conforming amendments"

Not directly related to CBM but bears watching. DECs "housekeeping" bill was amended on the House Floor to remove CBMs existing exemption from DEC wastewater and discharge permits. HB 524 passed the House 36-1 on 3/25/04. It's important that the Senate NOT reinsert the CBM exemption!

SCS CSHB 524(RES) moved Out of Committee on 4/02/04. Referred to (S) Rules on 4/05/04.

(H) RES,
from House
on 3/25/04

Hrg (S)
*held 3/29

HB 524 Bill Text
SB 240 Therriault 1/12/04 Damages Landowner may claim for injury or interference to property by CBM Leaseholder An Act prescribing a definition of 'damages' that a landowner may claim for injury to or interference with the owner's use of property by a person entering upon the land under the state reservation of oil, gas, mineral, material, or related interests, addressing the determination of the form, amount, and security of the surety bond determined by the director of lands to secure the landowner payment for damages, directing preparation of notice to the landowner for subsurface activities on the land, and setting a limitation on actions against a landowner resulting from entry upon land under the state reservation of interests. RES, JUD, FIN Ref to (S) RES (1/12) SB 240 Bill Text


SB 250 Stevens 1/2/04 Buyback of CBM Gas Leases on the Kenai Peninsula This bill is identical to the original HB 364. Great start, but the leases in the Mat-Su Valley need to be included as well. CRA, RES, FIN Hrg (S) CRA
*held 2/04
SB 250 Bill Text


SB 310 Stevens 2/9/04 "An Act relating to shallow natural gas leasing and the regulation of shallow natural gas operations" This bill is the Senate version of HB 395. CRA, RES, FIN Ref to (S) CRA (2/09) SB 310 Bill Text
SB 312 Resources,
2/9/04 "An Act relating to natural gas exploration and development and to nonconventional gas, and amending the section under which shallow natural gas leases may be issued"  This 45 page tome attempts to deal with some of the problems of current CBM law. It rolls CBM back into the Oil and Gas program, but does nothing to address the mess we're stuck with on currently leased lands. Leases existing as of 12/31/03 and lease applications received before 1/1/04 are "grandfathered" and will be administered under the current badly flawed law. Water quality, property rights and local government oversight are completely ignored. RES, FIN Hrg (S) RES,
*held 2/23
*held 3/22
*held 3/26
*held 4/21
*held 4/30

No action

SB 312 Bill Text


Michelle Church

Chris Rose

      1 day remains in current legislative session (ends 5/11).

Note: Great audio archive of a Legislative Constituency Meeting in Juneau on "Coal Bed Methane Leasing" between legislators and Mat-Su & Homer constituents held at 1:00 pm on 3/22/04.

Also, audio archive of a hearing on the "Kohring Ethics Complaint" (CBM related) of the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics (House Subcommittee) held at 10:20 am on 3/22/04.

Gavel to

live &
coverage of

Last Updated:  5/11/04


Home | CBM Bills Passed Prior to 2004 |