Budget deal cuts mineral payments to states

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Updated: 12/18/2013 1:05 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wyoming, New Mexico and other states will lose more than $400 million in mineral payments over the next decade under a budget deal nearing final approval in the Senate.

A provision in the budget deal preserves a 2 percent fee charged by the government on royalties from energy companies that purchase oil and gas leases on federal land. The fee effectively set a 51-49 split, favoring the federal government, on energy royalties.

The government last year paid $2.1 billion to 35 states under the program, with the largest payments going to five Western states: Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and California.

Wyoming would lose about $19 million next year and nearly $200 million over the next decade. New Mexico would about lose $10 million next year and Utah, $2.8 million.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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