WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced bipartisan legislation this week that would restore money owed to coal producing states from the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Trust Fund. In June, the House and Senate passed a two-year transportation bill which included a provision that tapped trust funds used for reclaiming abandoned mine lands. The provision was inserted into the bill during conference committee without debate or hearings.
“Pennsylvanians already bear a significant burden with abandoned mine land clean-up and could suffer unfairly without even the opportunity for debate,” said Senator Casey. “This measure would ensure that the Commonwealth will continue to receive the funding they were expecting to clean-up abandoned mines and keep our communities safe.”
The money in the AML Trust Fund comes from an agreement between coal producing states and the federal government. Coal is taxed on a per-ton basis and that money is set aside and distributed annually to coal producing states. Pennsylvania stands to lose $178 million as a result of the provision.
Senator Casey introduced the legislation with senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va), and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va).