Feds to pay Wyoming more than $40M in back royalties

Aug 27, 2013

The federal government will pay back mineral royalties that it withheld from states under the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.

When sequestration went into effect earlier this year, the Department of the Interior started withholding 5 percent of states' share of the royalties, which are paid on resources like coal and oil extracted from federal lands. For Wyoming, that's amounted to more than $40 million.

On Monday, DOI announced that after a legal review, it's giving the money back.

“In a nutshell, this law says we’re to withhold the funds this fiscal year, but we can make the funds available during the next fiscal year,” says Office of Natural Resources Revenue spokesman Patrick Etchart.

The Wyoming Congressional delegation pointed out that provision of the law back in May when urging the federal government to return the monies.

There’s no definitive date for the funds to be repaid.