By OGJ editors
WASHINGTON, DC, July 25 -- The Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service said July 24 it distributed more than $318 million to 32 states during the first 6 months of 2002. Of that total, Wyoming received over half those funds, $165 million. New Mexico was second with $88 million and Colorado third with $16 million received.
This year's halfway total is less than last year's record $656 million but is close to the 2000 figure of $362 million, said Interior Sec. Gale Norton. "The numbers largely reflect a recent decline in prices of crude oil and natural gas."
Interior officials said the money represents the states' cumulative share of revenues collected for mineral production on federal lands located within their borders and from federal offshore oil and gas tracts adjacent their shores.
For the majority of federal lands, states and the federal government share the revenues as follows: 50% to the state, 40% to the Reclamation Fund for water projects, and 10% to the US Treasury. One exception, Alaska, gets a 90% share, as prescribed by the Alaska Statehood Act. Certain coastal states with federal offshore tracts adjacent their seaward boundaries receive 27% of those mineral royalties as well. Remaining offshore revenues are deposited in special accounts of the US Treasury, including the General Fund, the Historic Preservation Fund, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.