Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 112 Part 5.djvu/555

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PUBLIC LAW 105-367—NOV. 10, 1998 112 STAT. 3313 Public Law 105-367 105th Congress An Act To protect the sanctity of contracts and leases entered into by surface patent Nov. 10, 1998 holders with respect to coalbed methane gas. [S. 25001 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. PROTECTION OF SANCTITY OF CONTRACTS AND LEASES 30 USC 81 note. OF SURFACE PATENT HOLDERS WITH RESPECT TO COAL- BED METHANE GAS. (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 entrjonen", 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,