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Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 11 January 1999



Posted on behalf of Glenn Starnes <gstarnes@nemw.org>

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SULFUR IN GASOLINE

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     Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), co-chair of the

Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, next week will introduce the Clean

Gasoline Act of 1999 that would require gasoline to contain a

concentration of sulfur not exceeding 40 parts per million per gallon,

a standard California already has in place.  Reducing gasoline's

sulfur content would result in air quality benefits equivalent to

removing more than 11 million vehicles from the road in 17 of the

nation's most heavily polluted areas.


     This legislation, for which Senator Moynihan is seeking

cosponsors, follows on the heels of a December 1998 letter, sent by 13

senators, urging the Clinton Administration's support for regulations

that ensure the availability of low-sulfur gasoline throughout the

nation.


     CONTACT:  Melissa Carey with Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

(224-4451).



R&D TAX CREDIT

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     The Senate and Congressional Task Forces on Manufacturing in late

December urged the Clinton Administration to include in its fiscal

2000 budget request the necessary funding to implement a permanent

research and development (R&D) tax credit.  The letters were initiated

by Task Force co-chairs: Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Joseph

Lieberman (D-CT) and Reps. Bob Franks (R-NJ) and Marty Meehan (D-MA).


     The letters stated: "During the 106th Congress, we hope to

address several substantive issues that also pertain to a permanent,

effective R&D tax policy.  Specifically, we are committed to: 

ensuring that the credit is more equitable; assuring that the credit

is available to all R&D-performing firms, particularly those in

research-intensive industries; expanding small business and startup

company access to the credit; and enhancing the credit as a means to

encourage research partnerships.  We would welcome your

Administration's support and input as we work toward achieving these

objectives."


     CONTACTS:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate

Coalition (224-0606) and Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest

Congressional Coalition (225-5361).



ENERGY PROGRAMS

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     Northeast-Midwest senators and representatives in late December

encouraged the Clinton Administration to support the State Energy

Program (SEP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program.  Those

letters requested that the administration's fiscal 2000 budget be no

less than the fiscal 1999 request of $37 million for SEP and $154

million for Weatherization.


     Northeast-Midwest lawmakers also asked Energy Secretary Bill

Richardson to ensure adequate funding for the Energy Information

Administration (EIA), which provides valuable state-by-state data on

energy prices and supplies.  Specifically, the letter requested that

an additional $5 million be included to conduct EIA quality assurance

and development.


     CONTACTS:  Cameron Taylor (224-0606) and Tim Daniels (225-5361).



CUTTING TVA SUBSIDIES

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     Fourteen representatives last week introduced legislation to

overturn the $1.2-billion subsidy provided last year to the Tennessee

Valley Authority (TVA).  With leadership by Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen

(R-NJ), Bob Franks (R-NJ), and Marty Meehan (D-MA), H.R. 140 would

repeal Section 103 of the fiscal 1999 Omnibus Appropriations bill that

allowed TVA to refinance its federal debt without paying the

contractually-required prepayment penalties.


     On another TVA matter, the Department of Energy last month

decided against providing TVA with another multi-billion-dollar

subsidy in order to complete construction of an overbudget nuclear

reactor and produce tritium, a gas used in nuclear weapons.  DOE

decided instead to purchase tritium at cost from an existing TVA

reactor.


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

5200).





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