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Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 1 February 1999



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


PRESIDENT'S BUDGET
------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest groups on Monday, February 1, will provide
a detailed review of the president's fiscal 2000 budget, analyzing how
the administration's proposals affect the region.  The budget review
will be e-mailed to electronic recipients of this WEEKLY UPDATE in
both Wordperfect 6.1/7 and Microsoft Word 97 formats.  Hard copies
also will be available to the media and Coalition members by 4 pm,
just hours after the president's submission.

     CONTACT:  Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (225-5361) and Dick Munson at the Northeast-Midwest
Institute (544-5200).


EARLY CREDIT TRADING
--------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Institute on Friday, February 5, will host
a briefing on the several proposals to create credits for reductions
in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.  Some
industries and companies have expressed interest in early credits and
credit trading, and several states are exploring early crediting
systems.  The various systems and proposals differ in what activities
can receive credits, how credits may be allocated by industry, how
credits are counted (rate-based or in tons), and the relationships to
permanent emissions trading systems.

     Addressing how these differences affect industries, emissions,
and industrial competitiveness will be:  Mark Perlis from Dickstein
Shapiro Morin and Oshinsky LLP; Robert Friedman from the H. John Heinz
III Center for Science, Economics, and Engineering; and Stephen Fotis
from Van Ness Feldman.  The February 5 briefing will be held from
10:00 am to 12:00 noon in room HC-5 of the U.S. Capitol.

     CONTACT:  Julie Fox Gorte at the Northeast-Midwest Institute
(544-5200).


GREAT LAKES
-----------
     The Great Lakes Task Forces this week will be holding their
annual organizational meetings to discuss Task Force policies and
procedures, as well as the legislative agenda for the 106th Congress. 
Individual offices are invited to come prepared to speak and/or to
bring handouts on legislative initiatives planned for the coming year.

     Three separate meetings will be held:  Senate staff will meet at
2:00 pm on Tuesday, February 2; Hall of States staff will meet at
10:00 am on Thursday, February 4; and House staff will meet at 2:00 pm
on Thursday, February 4.

     CONTACT:  Rochelle Sturtevant with the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition and Senate Great Lakes Task Force (224-1211).


ENERGY EFFICIENCY
-----------------
     Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY), Ron Kind (D-PA), Marty Meehan (D-MA),
and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) last week encouraged their colleagues to
promote useful energy programs that help every American.  Their letter
focused on the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program, the State
Energy Program (SEP), and other energy initiatives that advance
efficient and productive technologies, including:  Office of
Industrial Technology (OIT), Buildings Technology Program;
Transportation Technology Program, Federal Energy Management Program
(FEMP), and Energy Information Administration (EIA).

     These members of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition
will lead Capitol Hill efforts in tracking funds for federal
efficiency programs.

     CONTACT:  Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (225-5361).


SULFUR IN GASOLINE
------------------
     Reps. Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Marty Meehan (D-MA) soon 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.

     Noting this potential emissions benefit, auto-makers,
environmental groups, and state and local air quality officials
strongly favor a low sulfur standard.  The House legislation is
identical to S. 171, introduced recently by Senator Daniel Patrick
Moynihan (D-NY), co-chair of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition.

     CONTACT:  Michael Gorges with Rep. Kildee (225-3611).


HIGH-SPEED RAIL
---------------
     Advocates gathered last week in Chicago to advance a midwestern
high-speed rail network.  Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater,
Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (who chairs Amtrak's Board of
Directors), and Federal Railroad Administrator Jolene Molitoris
announced new federal support for the Midwest Rail Initiative. 
Helping to advance the effort have been the Environmental Law and
Policy Center and the High Speed Ground Transportation Association.


SEA GRANT FELLOWS
-----------------
     Two Sea Grant fellows begin work this week with the Northeast-
Midwest Coalitions' Great Lakes Task Forces and Upper Mississippi
River Task Force.  Jennifer Merrill, who recently completed her Ph.D.
in marine and estuarine environmental science at the University of
Maryland, will work in the office of Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) for the
Great Lakes Task Force.  Ed Buckner, completing his Ph.D. in natural
resource policy at Purdue University, will work in the office of Rep.
Ron Kind (D-WI) for the Upper Mississippi River Task Force.


JOB ANNOUNCEMENT
----------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Institute is looking for a policy analyst
for a new, three-year project to examine transportation, trade, and
economic development opportunities in the Upper Midwest.  Staff will
review the region's potential for trade development and estimate the
adequacy of its transportation infrastructure.

     A more detailed job description is available on the Institute's
web site -- www.nemw.org.  Resumes can be faxed to 544-0043.