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Lawmaker Proposes Leasing Kentucky Mineral Rights

The recession has surely driven a few people to dig under their couch cushions for loose change. In cash-strapped Kentucky one lawmaker has proposed that the state look under its own property for oil and gas deposits that might be extracted and monetized.

State Sen. Tom Jensen, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, has introduced two bills in the Kentucky General Assembly to this end. Jensen has proposed directing the Kentucky Geological Survey to study the value of potential oil and gas operations on state-owned and university-owned lands. He also proposes that the state lease mineral rights on state-owned and university-owned lands, as well as establish royalty requirements on oil and gas leases.

Kentucky is facing a $456 million budget shortfall in its current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

According to the Energy Information Administration, as of the end of 2007 all of Kentucky was thought to have nearly 2.5 Tcf of dry gas reserves. In 2007 the state had 16,563 producing gas wells.

"There's some potential here. I'm hopeful that it'll help us in this time of need," said Jensen, as reported by the Associated Press.

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