By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, WY – The federal government owes Wyoming a fortune in abandoned mine funds, but Senator John Barrasso says he's worried the state won't see the half a billion dollars anytime soon. Barrasso is opposing the nomination of a federal mining reclamation official because the senator says he avoided direct questions about Wyoming's 550-million dollar share. Meanwhile, Barrasso says he's worried about how the government plans to distribute the funds. The first payments are due in October. Barrasso says the money could have a tremendous impact on funding research for energy independence.