Feds paying NM millions in owed mineral royalties

Posted at: 08/27/2013 1:24 PM
Updated at: 08/27/2013 2:27 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

The federal government has decided to pay out $26 million it owes to New Mexico.

The state is owed money for natural gas and oil produced on federal land in New Mexico. Mineral royalty payments to 35 states were withheld as part of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts.

A bi-partisan team of lawmakers and other western states successfully convinced the interior department to fork over the money.

"I'm pleased that the department of the interior has decided to return the mineral royalties withheld earlier this year," U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce said. "It is unacceptable that a unilateral decision in Washington can so easily cut off millions of dollars that are the lifeblood of western states like New Mexico. New Mexico's classrooms and communities should not suffer at the whim of D.C. bureaucrats—the Administration's reckless handling of this issue led to delays and uncertainty that are sure to impact our economy."