Plugging fees payable into fund; investment and use of fund.
(a) In addition to the requirements and fees provided for in Section 9-17-24(a), any person desiring, after April 25, 1990, to drill any coalbed methane gas well in this state shall pay to the state a plugging fee of $150.00 respecting each such well desired to be drilled, such plugging fees to be deposited with the State Treasurer in the fund; provided, however, that no plugging fees shall be required to be paid during any time when the unobligated balance of the fund shall exceed the sum of $1,000,000. Any provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, no permit for the drilling of any coalbed methane gas well shall be issued by the board until the fee provided for in this section shall be paid, if due.
(b) The moneys in the fund shall be invested by the State Treasurer of Alabama in the same manner as state funds generally; provided, however, that only 50 percent of all interest and earnings accruing thereon shall be credited to the State General Fund and the remainder shall be credited to the fund; said moneys and the interest and earnings credited to the fund shall be used only for the purposes set forth in this article and for no other purposes, and no portion thereof shall be available for loan to any agency or branch of state government, it being the intent of the Legislature that the fund shall remain intact and inviolate for the purposes set out in this article or until terminated as provided herein.
(c) Moneys in the fund shall be paid out only by warrant of the state Comptroller upon the State Treasurer, upon itemized vouchers executed by the supervisor as provided in Section 9-17-135, and in the event of termination of the fund as provided herein.
(Acts 1990, No. 90-635, p. 1164, §8.)