Delegation criticizes budget's treatment of AML funds

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming's congressional delegation is condemning part of President Obama's budget proposal that could cut future payments to the state from the Abandoned Mine Land fund.

The program uses taxes on coal production to clean up abandoned mine sites and for other projects. Wyoming is receiving $100.7 million during the 2009 fiscal year as part of the program.

Wyoming's delegation says Obama's budget proposal released Thursday would terminate payments to coal-producing states that have completed mine clean-up.

A spokesman for Sen. Mike Enzi says Wyoming currently spends about $30 million a year of its AML funds on mine clean-up. That project is expected to extend for another few years.

But those payments would fall far short of the more than $580 million in AML funds that the delegation says is still owed to the state.