House bill cuts $700M AML fund

Sep 18, 2012 The Associated Press

Wyoming stands to lose up to $700 million over the next decade under a six-month budget extension expected to win approval in Washington.

Last week, the U.S. House passed the measure which is aimed at avoiding a government shutdown when the current budget expires Sept. 30.

The Senate is expected to pass the measure this week and be signed into law by president Barack Obama.

At issue are Abandoned Mine Lands program funds from taxes paid by coal producers for abandoned mines. Half goes to the federal government and half goes to states.

A previous transportation bill capped payments to states at $15 million. The budget measure restored payments to other coal states but not to Wyoming, the nation's top coal producer.

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