Wyoming lawmaker suggests increase state’s coal tax if federal fees sunset

Bucking a recent trend of failed measures to shift Wyoming from its reliance on fossil fuels, one lawmaker is proposing a bill that looks to generate money from a traditional source of revenue — coal.

House Bill 80 hinges on a potential reduction in federal fees on Wyoming coal, the sunset of the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program in three years.

The Abandoned Mine Land fees, set up in the late-70s to fund cleanup of historic coal mining, may not be reauthorized by Congress in 2021, at once reducing a tax burden on Wyoming coal and erasing income that eventually comes back to Wyoming.