By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, WY – U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso and Representative Barbara Cubin are continuing to pressure the federal government to dole out years of back payments that are due to Wyoming in abandoned mine money.
All three of Wyoming's representatives in Congress signed a letter to the Office of Surface Mining in Washington, once more asking the director to give the state its share of more than a half a billion dollars in abandoned mine money. In July Senator John Barrasso loudly objected to the appointment of that director, Brent Whalquist because the senator said he was not confident Whalquist would make good on the law.
That law went into affect this year, entitling the state to $550 million dollars in seven equal installments beginning this October, and up to $1.6 billion over 15 years. If the money is paid directly to Wyoming the state can earn interest on the funds. Barrasso's office says the rules directing how the money will be administered to states could be published as early September 15th.