Gas development not bad idea, but state must ensure it's done right

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2003

I would like to express my view of methane gas in the lower Kenai Peninsula Borough. I am not opposed to development, but I am opposed to the lease that the State of Alaska issued to Lapp Resources-Unocal without going through a normal process of public hearings.

Because of this there is a lack of regulations governing the industry as to access, egress, rights of private parties, property surface rights, etc. State authorities are telling us they have guidelines intact, but guidelines don't have the power of regulation. The state tells us they are going to put in regulations, but in my opinion, that is like trying to saddle a wild horse after you have let him out of the barn. You're left holding an empty saddle.

Most of the public comment at the meeting of Nov. 10 in Homer wanted the State to buy back the leases. Now I hear the Governor say that this is a possibility and I think that is the best idea. Buy the Homer leases back that are on private property or near residential areas. In any event, we need to have regulations in place before any drilling starts and those regulations can be enforced through the drilling permit.

Like I said, I am not opposed to this natural resource, but I don't want a skunk in my house; though he doesn't smell bad when he comes in, it's when you try to get him out that he leaves his card to be remembered.

Eugene McBride


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