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WASHINGTON - The Wyoming delegation thinks enough is enough when it comes to the recently enacted provision that would essentially steal two percent of Wyoming’s mineral royalties, costing Wyoming nearly $20 million a year.

To stop this federal pickpocketing from going forward, the delegation began the process of building a coalition of members to oppose the royalty change. The first step in the process began with a letter to the Secretary of the Interior as well as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget asking the agencies to halt the inclusion of “net receipt sharing” in the President’s budget proposal for the Department of Interior for 2009. The delegation will continue to lead this effort and build the coalition.

“It is unconscionable that the Department of Interior and the Office of Management and Budget would propose to take money from states used to pay for important priorities, including educational improvements, to pay for more program administration. This appropriation does not serve the taxpayers who fund the government nor does it serve the states who allow for energy production to happen within their borders.

“We strongly opposed the inclusion of this provision in the fiscal year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act. We do not believe the measure received thorough consideration and believe that if it had received such consideration, it would have been removed,” the delegation and other members of impacted states wrote in a Jan. 29 letter.