This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Western Lawmakers Push To Restore Mineral Funds

By BEN NEARY

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) â¿¿ A bipartisan group of western lawmakers is pushing legislation in Washington to restore cuts of $110 million in federal mineral royalty payments to 35 states.

Senators from New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho signed onto legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican. Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

The bills would allow states to collect royalty payments directly from companies that produce minerals from federal lands within their borders while placing the states' share off-limits to federal budget cuts.

Mineral-producing states and the federal government traditionally have split the proceeds 50-50, but the cuts this year under the federal budget reduction law would take more than 5 percent from the states' share. Wyoming is the nation's largest coal-producing state and stands to lose $53 million in this year's cuts while New Mexico, the next-highest state, would lose $26 million.

Federal officials have said they have no choice about the cuts, which they regard the same as any other government appropriations. Western lawmakers, however, say their states have a right to the money and that it ought to be off-limits to budget cuts.

In addition to prohibiting the federal government from withholding mineral royalties, the legislation introduced Tuesday also would eliminate a 2 percent fee the federal government currently charges states for collecting the revenue. The legislation would allow the federal government to keep its 50 percent share.

"Wyoming is fully capable of collecting its share of mineral revenues and shouldn't have to wait for the federal government to write us a check," Enzi stated in a release. "The money owed to the state is written into law and is not negotiable. It sets a dangerous precedent when Washington thinks it's OK to take state money instead of cutting its own spending. The government needs to uphold its end of the deal."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs