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E-M:/ Fwd: STPP Action Alert 10/2/97....Regarding ISTEA
- Subject: E-M:/ Fwd: STPP Action Alert 10/2/97....Regarding ISTEA
- From: Davedbike@aol.com
- Date: Fri, 3 Oct 1997 21:15:20 -0400 (EDT)
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: Davedbike@aol.com
Enviro-Mich message from Davedbike@aol.com
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
Feel free to contact me if you have questions.
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:
email@example.com or 202-974-5141)
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.
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
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
????? - QUESTIONS - ?????
Check the ISTEA web site at: www.istea.org or email/call Laura
Olsen or James Corless at STPP -- firstname.lastname@example.org
//Jcorless@transact.org // 202-466-2636
ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at
Postings to: email@example.com For info, send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org with a one-line message body of "info enviro-mich"