(Wyomnig Business Report, November 19) – Wyoming was again the top-grossing state for federal disbursements for energy production on federal lands and waters for fiscal year 2013.
The state will collect about $932,475,000 in mineral royalties, which the U.S. Department of the Interior inexplicably rounded up to $933 million in a release. Despite the rounding error, Wyoming still accounted for nearly 47 percent of all federal disbursements. New Mexico, the next-highest grossing state, still took in only about 51 percent of Wyoming’s take at under $479 million.
Utah earned $138 million, Colorado nearly $129 million and California $102 million as the next three highest-grossing states. Disbursements for all 35 states that earned royalties totaled just over $2 billion, with North Carolina chipping in a measly $37.49.
The totals came in 17 percent higher than 2012 figures.
According to the DOI release, local governments apply the revenues to school funding, infrastructure improvements and water conservation projects, among others. According to the Wyoming Mining Association, about $2.6 billion has come in to the state on coal bonus bids alone since 1992, which has funded school construction, higher education and highway infrastructure.
“The funding reflects significant energy production from public resources in the United States and serves as a critical revenue stream for federal and state governments and tribal communities,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in the release.
While touting the economic impact of energy activity, Jewell also stressed that energy development needs to move forward responsibly.