(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
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
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
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