Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Kentucky Obtains “Primacy” Over Coal Bed Methane Resources

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 11, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Mark York

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today Kentucky is poised to assume regulatory responsibility over the state’s coal bed methane resources.

A letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior notified the governor that Kentucky will formally be removed from the “List of Affected States” – those states that had not assumed “primacy” over their coal bed methane resources.

“Kentucky will play a central role in promoting our nation’s energy independence,” stated Governor Fletcher. “Enhancing coal bed methane production in our state is good for our local economies, the state and the nation.”

Coal bed methane is a methane gas – the principle component of natural gas – which is generated during coal formation and is contained in the coal microstructure. Coal bed methane can be added to natural gas pipelines without special treatment.

Kentucky was one of only a few states with coal bed methane that did not have the regulatory authority over those resources. The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 permitted states on the “List of Affected States” to apply for primacy. In order to assume primacy, Kentucky had to demonstrate it had implemented a state regulatory program. HB 577, passed during the 2004 session, established the regulatory framework positioning Kentucky to manage its coal bed methane resources.

“Early in my administration we recognized the value of promoting responsible development of Kentucky’s energy resources, and worked with the legislature to pass HB 577,” stated Governor Fletcher. “The vision for Kentucky’s energy future continues to move forward.”

A U.S. Department of the Interior letter thanked Governor Fletcher for his “initiative in promoting Kentucky’s coal-bed methane development, which is important to the energy future of America.”

Governor Fletcher issued the state’s first comprehensive energy strategy in February 2005 (Kentucky's Energy:  Opportunities for our Future).  It contains 54 recommendations to guide the commonwealth's policy-making as it relates to energy.

A copy of Kentucky’s comprehensive energy strategy can be found at