Senators push to restore mine land funding

Aug 3, 2012

A group of U.S. senators has introduced legislation seeking to restore hundreds of millions of dollars to Wyoming and other states that receive federal payments to restore abandoned mine lands.

The bill would repeal a provision in the recently passed federal transportation funding law that put a cap on how much abandoned mine land payments states can get.

The bill caps Wyoming at $15 million a year, down from about $150 million a year currently. Other states currently receive less than Wyoming, the nation's largest coal-producing state.

Sen. Mike Enzi, Wyoming's senior Republican senator, says the money rightfully belongs to coal-producing states.

The Senate legislation is identical to a bill already pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.