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In my last two newsletters I told you about the coal bed methane gas leases the state is issuing all over the Valley. Well this issue is heating up even more. We have had three community meetings so far that have left many questions unanswered and many people did not have time to speak. Evergreen Resources is sponsoring two more meetings next week, and I urge you to attend. The first is at the Sutton School on September 30th at 6:30 PM. The second is at Wasilla High School on October 1st at 6:30 PM.
The latest news on CBM came out in the Anchorage Daily News this week. On Sunday the headlines stated Evergreen wrote HB 69 for Representative Kohring. This is the law that gives the State the power to override any local regulations pertaining to CBM. The Borough is the government closest to the people and need to be able to pass ordinances that protect the residents rights. The other news was in today's paper. The State has awarded leases for another 230,000 acres to Evergreen in the Willow area. This is a new area they plan to explore in. This is in addition to the 75,000 acres they currently lease in the Sutton, Palmer, Wasilla, Big Lake, and Houston areas. I am also hearing that Evergreen has begun surveying and other work for drilling in the upper Fishhook area near Hatcher Pass.
I have added more information to my web page stating my position on CBM. I am also including that statement below at the end of this newsletter. I have also added two links on my web page to sites in Montana and Wyoming that provide information on CBM in those areas. To access these go to www.themayor.info
Thanks to everyone who is coming forward to support my re-election campaign. I am working hard and appreciate all your assistance. Absentee voting started this week so call the Borough clerk for a ballot at 745-9685 in the event you are not in town October 7th, Election Day. You can also vote absentee in person at the Borough Office.
Thought for the Month:
ďAll things are impossible as long as they seem soĒ Concepcion Arenal 1820-1893
See my web site for more details on Borough Issues and re-election information: http://www.themayor.info/
I encourage you to pass this newsletter on to other interested persons and anyone receiving it may get on the mailing list by sending me a message to themayor@ak.net I also encourage your comments and questions. Send them by clicking on the above link.
Paid for by Tim Anderson, P.O. Box 870854 Wasilla, AK 99687
Tim Anderson's Coal-Bed Methane Position (CBM):
I am sure most Borough residents have heard about this issue and are wondering how it will affect them and their property. This is a big issue and I want to be clear on my position. It is likely to affect most Borough residents in one way or another. I urge you to do some research on the issue and I have provided links to several web sites on my web page www.themayor.info that will tell you how this industry has developed in other States. There have been three community meetings on this issue so far and these meetings have left people with more questions than answers.
Here are some brief facts: The State is leasing huge amounts of land sub-surface rights in the Borough. They are doing this with minimal public notice. The majority of the leases are already signed. Scott Ogan sponsored a state law in 1996 that reduced the notice requirements. Evergreen Resources was just awarded leases on an additional 230,000 acres in the Willow Area. This is in addition to 75,000 acres they control in the Sutton, Palmer, Wasilla, Houston and Big Lake areas. The State owns most of the sub-surface mineral rights on all land in Alaska. This gives them the right to lease mineral rights under your property, and gives the firms leasing these rights the ability to drill on your land. The State and the Borough governments generally have the right to pass laws regulating CBM drilling. Vic Kohring introduced and passed HB 69 last year giving the State the right to overrule any local laws pertaining to CBM. This basically takes away the Boroughs right to enforce laws protecting the residents. Evergreen has just begun the onsite work for drilling in the Hatcher Pass area. They have existing wells in the Wasilla, Big Lake and Houston areas. Production of CBM requires removal of considerable amounts of ground water to get the gas out of the coal. Most of this water gets contaminated during the drilling and production process and must be dealt with. There are many unanswered questions as to the affect this may have on your wells.
I am very concerned about the issues CBM raises to the Borough residents. My position is we must slow this process down until we all have a full understanding of the industry and what it means to our residents.
1. I support having the State issue a moratorium on leasing and drilling until regulations are in place at both the State and local level.
2. I support the repeal of HB 69. This is unnecessary law. The local government is closest to the people and in the best position to provide them protections.
3. I support more community meetings to inform all the residents about this issue.
4. I support regulations that require any firm drilling for CBM on your property to have a signed agreement with you to protect your surface rights and provide you protections against noise, air, and ground pollution, and that protect you from these issues long after gas production ends.
I am the only candidate for Borough Mayor in the upcoming October 7th election that is on record asking for the above actions. I have stated this publicly in the candidate forums. I have requested more meetings and got them. I have introduced an ordinance at the Borough to regulate CBM that is currently working through the public process. Both of my opponents have stated they support CBM as good economic development but neither has called for a moratorium or more public involvement in order to get proper regulations in place. Both stated they would accept campaign contributions from the Evergreen Resources while I stated I would not. One opponent has accepted contributions from the legislators passing the CBM laws and his campaign chair is also the chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission, the same organization that is charged with approving any state regulations and permits for drilling operations.
I support CBM only if it can be done responsibly with minimal effects to our residents. I stated that several years ago when the Borough was first approached by this industry. However at that time we were not provided with the information on the problems CBM has caused in other areas and how those issues would be dealt with here. We need some time to sort out the issues and to get regulations in place for this industry before they start production in the Borough.
Paid for by Tim Anderson, P.O. Box 870854 Wasilla, AK 99687