The Alabama House of Representatives will consider legislation on Tuesday allowing chemical companies to store more gases in naturally occurring underground caverns. The underground gas storage facilities would be regulated by the Alabama Oil and Gas Board.

Senate Bill 36 is sponsored by State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) and is being carried in the House by State Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-Mobile).

“This is dealing with the Oil and Gas Board,” Albritton explained to the Senate when the bill was there. “We have those caverns where we have certain gases that are stored. This bill is amending that to include other gases.”

According to the synopsis, “Under existing law, the State Oil and Gas Board regulates underground storage facilities for natural gas and certain other hydrocarbons not defined as oil. This bill would amend the definition of gas for the purpose of the regulation of underground storage facilities by the board to include carbon oxides, ammonia, hydrogen, nitrogen, and noble gases.

“This bill would also specify the authority of the board to regulate underground storage facilities, including requiring a bond to [ensure] the performance of any duties relating to an underground storage facility. This bill would also authorize the board to adopt rules providing fees to defray the expenses of the board in regulating underground storage operations.”

Albritton explained that this will mean that those storage facilities “will be allowed to put those gases in those caverns and also allow the Oil and Gas Board to regulate that.”

Drummond is the sponsor of House Bill 97 which is the House version of the legislation. HB97 is also on Thursday’s special-order calendar.

SB36 passed the Alabama Senate 31 to zero with bipartisan support.

If it passes the House on Tuesday, SB36 could go straight to the governor’s office for her consideration.

SB36 and HB97 are two of the seventeen bills on Tuesday’s House special order calendar.

The legislation now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for its consideration.

Tuesday is day 10 of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session. The legislature is limited to no more than 30 legislative days in a 120-day calendar period during a regular session.

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