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E-M:/ Fwd: STPP Action Alert 10/2/97....Regarding ISTEA



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Enviro-Mich message from Davedbike@aol.com
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Floor debate on ISTEA 2 is anticipated in the Senate next week.  Here's an
action notice from our partners in DC requesting our support, action.  Please
contact your Senators.  Call their local office, or go through the DC
switchboard.  That number is below.

Also, from a previous question along with a post from the Union Concerned
Scientist's (a group who's part of the larger STPP coalition working to
preserve ISTEA and improve on it), we have, from what I can tell, the
beginnings of a decent constiuency building in this state, and we should.
 See the STPP's "reauthorization" web page for more info at:  www.istea.org
 I believe it's also linked to there home page which is full of useful
resources.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.  

Cheers,
Dave DeRight
Augusta, MI

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Forwarded message:
From:	stpp-owner@Radix.Net
Sender:	stpp-owner@Radix.Net
Reply-to:	sjubar@transact.org
Date: 97-10-02 18:58:58 EDT

STPP ACTION ALERT -- 
ISTEA 2 COMING TO SENATE FLOOR

Even though talk in the House on ISTEA reauthorization is focused 
on a six month delay, the Senate is moving ahead with their plans to 
begin floor debate on their version of the bill Wednesday, October 8th.  
We still expect some of our toughest battles to take place on the 
Senate floor; your phone calls, letters and mobilization of others 
in the next week is critical to the future of ISTEA.  

Action items needed ASAP:


1)Write a letter to the editor (sample below), publicly urging 
your Senators to oppose attacks on the environment.

2)  If you havenUt already, call your Senators [202-224-3121] -- 
Urge them: to oppose any attempts to gut NEPA or CMAQ, 
support restoration of maintenance programs, and support 
adequate job access and transit funding when
ISTEA 2 comes to the floor.  (See talking points below 
for more detail)

3)  Forward this sample letter and action alert to your network

4) Initiate a sign-on letter to your Senators -- Fax it to their DC
office by 10/6/97 (sample available from Amanda Kreiss at:
akreiss@transact.org or 202-974-5141)

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SAMPLE LETTER:


Dear Editor:

It's no secret that most Americans see the protection of our 
environment as one of the more critical issues facing our nation.  
Indeed, it proved to be a deciding factor in many political 
campaigns in 1996.  Next week, our elected officials in Congress 
have a chance to prove their resolve on this matter when the federal 
transportation will likely be debated on floor of the U.S. Senate.  
While not immediately considered typical environmental legislation, 
this massive $145 billion bill contains critical funds for 
transportation programs that reduce air pollution and promote non-
highway alternatives that benefit the environment.

Unfortunately, the bill (S1173) faces a number of alarming attacks 
on the environment in the form of amendments; changes that would 
allow highway expansion projects to be funded from the air quality 
program in addition to an outright assault on the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a law that has assured critical 
environmental reviews and basic safeguards and protections for all 
federally-funded transportation projects since its passage in 1969.  
We must urge both our U.S. Senators to stand up to these attacks on 
the environment, and vote against these harmful amendments.


Sincerely,


============================================

SENATE TALKING POINTS

Our federal transportation law will be coming before the entire Senate
the first week of October.  Senators Chafee and Baucus have produced
a bill that forwards the current goals of a balanced transportation
system.  When ISTEA 2 (S.1173) comes up for a vote, please support
the bill and protect its core principles of providing choice,
environmental protection and local control.  In addition to supporting
the bill, please:


1. SAY NO TO AMENDMENTS THAT GUT NEPA OR CMAQ

NEPA was  a landmark environmental bill and amendments to the
transportation bill are a backdoor way to try to tilt the field in favor
of highway contractors. The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality
Program dedicates money to help our communities improve our air
quality.  Building roads with air quality money makes no sense and
will further degrade our air quality.   Don't support attacks on the
environment.


2.  RESTORE AN EMPHASIS ON FIXING OUR 
ROADS AND BRIDGES

The Senate's ISTEA 2 bill eliminates the current emphasis on
maintenance of our roads.  As we have seen in recent news, our roads
are still in need of major repairs.  We need to make sure our states fix
our roads and ISTEA 2 should make maintenance a priority.


3.  DON'T CHANGE THE TRANSIT FUNDING FORMULA 
AND GIVE THE STATES CONTROL OF THE MONEY.

Senators Faircloth (R-NC) and Allard (R-CO) want to change the transit
funding formula and put control in the hands of the state instead of the
transit agency and local officials.  Please oppose such amendments and
keep transit money flowing to states according to their needs.


4. MAINTAIN AMTRAK'S ELIGIBILITY 
FOR TRANSPORTATION FUNDS.

 Senator Bond (R-MO) may be offering an amendment next week to
eliminate the eligibility for Amtrak in ISTEA 2.  The Senate bill has
made Amtrak eligible for funding from any ISTEA category.  This is great
progress since under current law states cannot spend federal money on
Amtrak.



????? - QUESTIONS - ?????

Check the ISTEA web site at: www.istea.org    or email/call Laura
Olsen or James Corless at STPP -- lolsen@transact.org
//Jcorless@transact.org // 202-466-2636


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