BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Payments to western U.S. states have plummeted for oil, natural gas and coal extracted by private companies from U.S. lands.

The revenue drop comes after low crude prices and the pandemic idled drilling in many areas in 2020.

Federal data shows payments to states for drilling on public lands and in U.S. waters were down by $630 million, or about 26%, in this fiscal year. New Mexico and Wyoming took the biggest fiscal hits.

Companies pay the U.S government for the right to drill for fossil fuels on public lands and in U.S. waters. The money is split with the states where drilling occurs.

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