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|This paper outlines the patterns of methane emission in both longwall and room-and-pillar operations and discusses the effects that these patterns have on the decision as to whether the methane is most economically handled by ventilation alone or by means of a methane-drainage system in addition to ventilation. The costs of handling the methane in the ventilation system and the costs of implementing the methane-drainage system are discussed, as well as the costs related to the production of coal. The important issues of production slowdowns and gasouts are also discussed, as well as the proper response of mine management to such a situation. Suggestions concerning the keeping of production records related to methane problems are made, and the justification for more intensive economic analysis of coalbed methane extraction and utilization is discussed|