What factors determine federal spending on environmental goods? Is severity of the hazard the only metric of consideration, or do other factors play a vital role in explaining spending? This paper seeks to answer this question and to identify disbursement patterns within the context of the Abandoned Mine Land Fund (AMLF) program, a fund created as an aspect of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. We explore whether political factors, as well as environmental and health factors, have an explanatory role in disbursement of AMLF monies. The political factors examined include environmental interest group influence and legislator preferences and/or pressures to fund sites in their home states or districts. The results found here suggest that there exists a mix of public and private interests present in AMLF disbursement decisions during the overall span of the program, and that political influences have gained strength in the decision-making calculus in response to changes in the funding structure of the AMLF.
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