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Let states collect their own mineral revenue payments

Senator Mike Enzi led a bipartisan group of Senators who introduced a bill this week that would allow states the option to collect their own share of federal mineral revenue and protect money that is rightfully owed under the Mineral Leasing Act (MILA). Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., introduced the House version of the bill. The legislation would prohibit the federal government from withholding mineral royalties and would eliminate the two percent fee the federal government charges for collecting the revenue.  The federal government would still keep its 50 percent share of mineral revenue under the legislation.

“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,” said Senator Enzi. “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.”

Every year, billions of dollars in revenue are generated from energy production on federal lands. Since states bear most of the costs associated with mineral development, they are guaranteed a share of the revenue under federal law. The federal government isn’t upholding its end of the bargain and is trying to keep state money.

Wyoming Senators for coal & energy workers

Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso are standing up for coal and energy workers across Wyoming and the country. They joined other energy state senators this month to introducing legislation that would protect the jobs of thousands of hard-working Americans and stop abusive and unnecessary regulations.

“Coal powers our nation, employs thousands of hard working people, and helps drive our economy,” said Enzi. “Sensible rules mean job creation. Energy production and protecting the environment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The proposed rule changes by this Administration are more about stopping energy production than they are about protecting the environment.  Current rules already do that.”

The Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act would prevent the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining (OSM) from rewriting the current stream buffer zone rule or “Stream Protection Rule.” After an extensive five-year process that included 40,000 public comments, two proposed rules and 5,000 pages of environmental analysis from five agencies, the rule was updated in 2008. In contrast, to date the administration has not provided any evidence or data to justify a change to the rule. According to the Obama administration’s own estimates, the new regulation could cost up to 7,000 coal mining jobs and negatively impact local economies in 22 states.

Wait time for veterans’ disability too high

Currently, Wyoming has 1,183 backlogged claims with veterans filing their first claim waiting 269 days on average.  

Senator Enzi joined more than 60 other senators late last month in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to take direct action to reduce the current backlog of veterans’ disability claims. 

Click here to read the letter

Americans owe more than they make

Americans now owe more than they make and financial literacy statistics gravely reflect the need to integrate finance into the lives of our students at an early age.

This was the message Curtis Biggs of Sheridan, the vice president of the Wyoming chapter of the Jump$tart Coalition, told Senator Enzi at a Senate subcommittee hearing in recently.

Biggs was in Washington to speak on how financial literacy education can make a positive difference for both individuals and the country’s economy.

Click here to watch video footage from the hearing.

Wyoming Senators Urge EPA to Withdraw Water Regulations 

Senators Enzi and Barrasso joined a group of 30 senators urging the Environmental Protection Administration to withdraw draft guidance to define “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, and redirect the agency’s resources. 

In a letter, the Senators expressed concerns that if  not withdrawn, the new guidance could expand the scope of the waters to be regulated beyond that intended by congress. 

Click here to read the letter

Enzi answers constituent questions

Senator Enzi records “Collecting Common Sense from Wyoming for Washington” videos every other week when the Senate is in session. In this videos, Enzi responds to questions and comments made by Wyoming residents on Facebook and Twitter, in phone calls to his D.C. and Wyoming offices, and in emails and written letters.

Click here to watch the most recent video

Sheridan County office hours

Senator Enzi's five state offices in Cheyenne, Gillette, Casper, Cody and Jackson offer office hours where Wyoming residents have the opportunity to meet with Senator Enzi’s state representatives in his absence. Upcoming office hours include:

Friday, June 14th

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Sheridan YMCA