National Experts Review CBM Water Issue

Laramie, WY – National experts are reviewing what's known about the effects of coal-bed methane gas production on this region's water.

A committee meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Denver Tuesday comes amid a natural gas boom in the Rockies that includes coal-bed methane drilling. The process taps natural gas by pumping groundwater and releasing methane in coal seams.

The 2005 federal energy bill mandated a study of coal-bed methane production on surface and groundwater in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and North Dakota.

Conservationists sued earlier this year to force the federal government to do the study. Federal officials are reviewing existing information and whether further analysis is needed.