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107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     107-556

======================================================================



 
   CALLING FOR THE FULL APPROPRIATION OF STATE AND TRIBAL SHARES OF 
                    ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATION FUND

                                _______
                                

July 9, 2002.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                    [To accompany H. Con. Res. 425]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the 
concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 425) calling for the full 
appropriation of the State and tribal shares of the Abandoned 
Mine Reclamation Fund, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the 
concurrent resolution be agreed to.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of House Concurrent Resolution 425 is to call 
for the full appropriation of the State and tribal shares of 
the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 
(SMCRA, 33 U.S.C. 12 et seq.) established an Abandoned Mine 
Reclamation Fund, funded by a fee on coal production, to 
reclaim and restore abandoned coal mine lands. SMCRA provides 
for a state share and a federal share of the monies collected. 
The federal share goes to the Secretary of the Interior for 
reclamation programs in various states and on tribal lands. For 
states and tribes with a federally approved abandoned mine 
reclamation program, SMCRA allocates 50 percent of the 
reclamation fee collected in the state or on tribal lands to 
that state or tribe. These funds are subject to appropriation.
    While SMCRA clearly promises 50 percent share of the 
abandoned mine reclamation fees to states and tribes, only a 
fraction of the promised money has actually been appropriated. 
By the end of March 2002 some $6.4 billion in reclamation fees 
had been deposited into the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. 
However, only $5 billion had been appropriated, leaving a 
balance of $1.4 billion. Of this amount, 25 states and tribes 
are now entitled to $876 million. The money owed states ranges 
from about $4,000 to Arkansas to almost $324 million to 
Wyoming. This money, which should be funding environmental 
restoration projects, is instead sitting in federal coffers 
masking federal budget deficits.
    This resolution calls on the Administration to honor the 
obligation to states and tribes under SMCRA and provide them 
with their share of unappropriated abandoned mine reclamation 
fees so they can restore abandoned mine lands to a safe and 
environmentally-sound state. Unless the funds for this work are 
made a priority and included in the Administration's budget, 
they will continue to sit idle in the Abandoned Mine 
Reclamation Fund while important reclamation work remains 
unfinished. A statement of the Sense of the Congress calling 
for the return of the state and tribal share of the abandoned 
mine reclamation fees will help ensure that these funds are 
properly utilized for the reclamation work for which they were 
intended.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    House Concurrent Resolution 425 was introduced on June 25, 
2002, by Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R-WY). The resolution was 
referred to the Committee on Resources. On June 26, 2002, the 
Full Committee met to consider the resolution. No amendments 
were offered and the resolution was ordered favorably reported 
to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. The Committee has 
determined that this resolution has no budgetary impact.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This resolution contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This resolution is not intended to preempt any State, local 
or tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this resolution would make no changes in 
existing law.