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Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 16 June 1997

                   Northeast-Midwest Institute

                          WEEKLY UPDATE

                           16 June 1997

                         TOP OF THE NEWS

     Sixteen northeastern and midwestern senators last week signed a
Senate Coalition letter asking the Finance Committee not to reclassify
kerosene and subject it to the tax and dye scheme applicable to diesel
fuel.  Such a reclassification was included recently in the tax bill
introduced by the House Ways and Means Committee chairman.

     The Coalition's letter expressed concern that such a change in
tax treatment for kerosene would increase home heating oil and off-
highway diesel fuel prices for consumers, create significant cash flow
difficulties for small home heating oil dealers and farmers, and pose
health and safety risks to users.  Kerosene is the primary source of
fuel for thousands of mostly low-income residents of the Northeast-
Midwest region.

     CONTACT:  Geoff Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition

     Thirty-three senators last week signed a letter asking the
Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to "strive to achieve" the
president's fiscal 1998 request for the Low-Income Weatherization
Program and the State Energy Conservation Program.  The letter,
coordinated by the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, also requested
funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Industrial
Technologies and the Energy Information Administration.

     The request was spearheaded by Senators James Jeffords (R-VT),
Carl Levin (D-MI), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), Olympia Snowe (R-
ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Alfonse D'Amato
(R-NY), and Jack Reed (D-RI).

     CONTACT:  Geoff Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition

     The Northeast-Midwest Institute on Saturday, June 21, is
organizing in San Leandro, California, a field forum on brownfield
reuse.  The session will be hosted by Rep.  Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-

     The event is the tenth in the Institute's series of
congressionally-hosted forums to highlight the problems and
opportunities associated with cleaning and redeveloping contaminated
industrial sites.  Speakers at the California event will include
representatives from the state's Environmental Protection Agency,
Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Center for Land
Recycling, Urban Habitat, and Community Bank of the Bay.  Beginning at
11:00 am, immediately preceding the forum, a bus tour will visit
brownfield sites in San Leandro, Oakland, and Emeryville.

     CONTACT:  Charlie Bartsch at the Northeast-Midwest Institute

     The Northeast-Midwest Institute this week will release a new
report on reforming the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Power
Marketing Administrations (PMAs) in a competitive electricity
environment.  The 38-page publication notes that the federal
government is this nation's largest generator and supplier of
electricity, and that these enormous taxpayer-supported institutions
are under increased scrutiny as Congress tries to balance the federal
budget and bring competition into the electricity industry.

     The substantial taxpayer subsidies to TVA and PMAs are criticized
from several angles:  They distort the market, discourage efficiency,
waste taxpayer dollars, and pit regions against each other.

     CONTACT:  Dick Munson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-

     The Senate Task Force on Manufacturing on Tuesday, June 24, will
host a non-technical briefing on semiconductors.  Bob Richardson,
president of Silicon Valley Group Lithography, and a representative
from Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, the
semiconductor industry organization, will explain what semiconductors
are, why they are important, and how they are manufactured.

     The June 24 "brown bag" briefing will take place from 12:00 noon
until 1:00 pm in room 562 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Geoff Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition

     Fully autonomous robots designed for use in hospitals will make
an appearance on Wednesday, June 25, at a briefing sponsored by the
Senate Task Force on Manufacturing.  The robots were designed by
Joseph Engelberger and HelpMate Robotics, using technology developed
by NASA for the space probe missions.  Mr. Engelberger, widely
acknowledged as the founder of the industrial robot, will speak on the
importance of technology R&D initiatives like the Advanced Technology
Program (ATP) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards.

     CONTACT:  Geoff Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition