Home > 105th Congressional Bills > S. 2500 (is) To protect the sanctity of contracts and leases entered into by surface patent holders with respect to coalbed methane gas. ...

S. 2500 (is) To protect the sanctity of contracts and leases entered into by surface patent holders with respect to coalbed methane gas. ...

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  2d Session
                                S. 2500


                                 AN ACT

To protect the sanctity of contracts and leases entered into by surface 
          patent holders with respect to coalbed methane gas.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), the United States shall 
recognize as not infringing upon any ownership rights of the United 
States to coalbed methane any--
            (1) contract or lease covering any land that was conveyed 
        by the United States under the Act entitled ``An Act for the 
        protection of surface rights of entrymen'', approved March 3, 
        1909 (30 U.S.C. 81), or the Act entitled ``An Act to provide 
        for agricultural entries on coal lands'', approved June 22, 
        1910 (30 U.S.C. 83 et seq.), that was--
                    (A) entered into by a person who has title to said 
                land derived under said Acts, and
                    (B) that conveys rights to explore for, extract, 
                and sell coalbed methane from said land; or
            (2) coalbed methane production from the lands described in 
        subsection (a)(1) by a person who has title to said land and 
        who, on or before the date of enactment of this Act, has filed 
        an application with the State oil and gas regulating agency for 
        a permit to drill an oil and gas well to a completion target 
        located in a coal formation.
    (b) Application.--Subsection (a)--
            (1) shall apply only to a valid contract or lease described 
        in subsection (a) that is in effect on the date of enactment of 
        this Act;
            (2) shall not otherwise change the terms or conditions of, 
        or affect the rights or obligations of any person under such a 
        contract or lease;
            (3) shall apply only to land with respect to which the 
        United States is the owner of coal reserved to the United 
        States in a patent issued under the Act of March 3, 1909 (30 
        U.S.C. 81), or the Act of June 22, 1910 (30 U.S.C. 83 et seq.), 
        the position of the United States as the owner of the coal not 
        having passed to a third party by deed, patent or other 
        conveyance by the United States;
            (4) shall not apply to any interest in coal or land 
        conveyed, restored, or transferred by the United States to a 
        federally recognized Indian tribe, including any conveyance, 
        restoration, or transfer made pursuant to the Indian 
        Reorganization Act, June 18, 1934 (c. 576, 48 Stat. 984, as 
        amended); the Act of June 28, 1938 (c. 776, 52 Stat. 1209 as 
        implemented by the order of September 14, 1938, 3 Fed. Reg. 
        1425); and including the area described in section 3 of Public 
        Law 98-290; or any executive order;
            (5) shall not be construed to constitute a waiver of any 
        rights of the United States with respect to coalbed methane 
        production that is not subject to subsection (a); and
            (6) shall not limit the right of any person who entered 
        into a contract or lease before the date of enactment of this 
        Act, or enters into a contract or lease on or after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, for coal owned by the United States, to 
        mine and remove the coal and to release coalbed methane without 
        liability to any person referred to in subsection (a)(1)(A) or 

            Passed the Senate October 9 (legislative day, October 2), 



  2d Session

                                S. 2500


                                 AN ACT

To protect the sanctity of contracts and leases entered into by surface 
          patent holders with respect to coalbed methane gas.

Pages: 1

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