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Albuquerque Journal: Udall seeks to block feds from taking NM mineral royalties

Sen. Tom Udall said today he will introduce legislation next week to block the federal government from taking $25 million of New Mexico’s federal energy and mineral royalties this year as part of the ongoing budget sequester.

Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, is teaming up with Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, on the legislation aimed at protecting a key revenue stream for western states. Wyoming is the only state facing a royalties loss larger than New Mexico, one of the nation’s largest onshore oil and gas producers. Wyoming is facing a $53 million cut.

Udall signaled his intent on crafting the legislation Tuesday during a Senate hearing with Department of Interior officials, including Secretary Sally Jewell.

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