82-11-173. Legislative findings -- purpose. (1) The legislature finds that a delay in the development of certain coal bed methane wells may inadvertently result in the loss of coal bed methane resources.
(2) The legislature further finds that because of the nature of this subsurface mineral resource, it is highly susceptible to collateral extraction and use through development efforts on adjacent federal, tribal, or other states' lands to the economic detriment of Montana and its citizens.
(3) The legislature further finds that there is a compelling state interest to authorize the board through this limited program to act in a timely and expeditious manner to permit coal bed methane wells to offset the collateral permitting of wells by other entities on nonjurisdictional lands that are not subject to permitting by the board under 82-11-103 in order to:
(a) protect coal bed methane mineral reserves from collateral extraction by others;
(b) provide economic benefits to the state;
(c) protect the private property rights of the owners of the mineral reserves;
(d) promote the balanced development of state lands and protect the mineral reserve interest held in trust for the benefit of state schools; and
(e) assist in providing much needed energy resources to the region.