Things are heating up with the ESA in Congress. According
in Washington, Senator Kempthorne's Species Extinction Bill, S. 1180,
has been attached as a rider to an omnibus appropriations package in
the House. Congress will have to make a decision before the end of
the weekend in order to avoid a government shutdown. Until these
rumors are confirmed, we need to assume the worst. We will be sure to
keep you posted as we find out new information.
We are encouraged by reports that resistance to an ESA rider is
continuing to gather bipartisan support both in the House and also
with key members of the Administration. However, there are still very
strong forces attempting to push this bill forward. Senator
Kempthorne will be retiring at the end of the session in order to run
for Idaho State Governor. He and many of his cohorts are saying that
they would like this bill to be left as a "legacy."
We can't let this happen! Your calls, letters Op-Eds and lobby
have pushed off a vote on this for the past year. Let's push it over
the edge with one last blitz!
WHAT TO DO:
At this point, the two pressure points are going to be in the House
and within the Administration. Let's give them the support they need
to kill this bill before the session ends.
Call House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Interior Subcommittee chair
the House Appropriations Committee Ralph Regula. Ask them how they
can, in good conscience, allow Congress to gut the Endangered Species
Act, our nation's most cherished environmental law, WITHOUT DEBATE!
Speaker Gingrich's number is (202) 225-4501, fax: (202) 225-0351
Rep. Ralph Regula's number is (202) 225-3876, fax: (202) 225-3059
And then call Vice President Al Gore. Ask him to oppose this
every way shape and form. This is his chance to show some true
environmental leadership in a time of crisis.
Vice President Al Gore's number is (202) 456-2326, fax (202) 456-2883
This is it folks! Thanks for all your help! As always,
you the update when the smoke clears.
Eric S. Wingerter
GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network
1101 Fourteenth St NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202) 682-9400 x 236
Fax: (202) 682-1331