USDAgov, Flickr

The amount of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) payments Wyoming receives will be capped at $15 million under a resolution that was approved by the U.S. Senate on Saturday. Wyoming has been receiving roughly $150 million annually, meaning the state would lose about $700 million in AML funding over the next ten years if President Obama signs the bill.

The AML program was established to promote and finance the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to 1977 when the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act was enacted. The funds come from fees on coal production, meaning Wyoming pays into the fund more than any other state as the nation’s number one coal producer.

Governor Matt Mead and State Senator Phil Nicholas say the loss in funding would mean Wyoming would have a hard time sustaining coal research and other programs that are paid for by the AML funds. Do you think that Wyoming should be receiving the large share of AML funding they have traditionally gotten or is the $15 million cap appropriate? Let us know by answering the survey below.


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