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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 26 June 2000



H E A D L I N E S
-----------------
*  High Oil Prices
*  Northeast Oil Reserve
*  Weatherization and Energy Efficiency
*  Brownfields and Housing
*  Brownfield Legislation
*  Advance LIHEAP Funding


HIGH OIL PRICES
---------------
      Senators Jim Jeffords (R-VT) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) last
week led cosigners of a letter asking the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) to expand its current investigations into gasoline prices.  They
have asked the FTC to monitor home heating oil and natural gas prices
in order to protect against similar price spikes for the coming
winter, and to review the results of a pending investigation by the
Northeast states' attorneys general evaluating last winter's surging
home heating oil prices.  Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY),
Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Patrick
Leahy (D-VT), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), John Kerry (D-MA), Christopher
Dodd (D-CT), and John Rockefeller (D-WV) also signed the letter.

      On Monday, June 26, a group of Northeast-Midwest senators also
are sending a separate letter to President Clinton that expresses
concern about the possibility of high prices and short supplies of
home heating oil this coming winter.  The senators are asking the
president to take several steps, including:  create a home heating oil
reserve; encourage fuel contracting for holders of interruptible
contracts; urge the summer filling of home heating oil tanks; and push
refiners to increase the production of home heating oil.

      An identical letter to the FTC is being sent on Monday, June 26,
by a bipartisan group of Northeast-Midwest House members.

      CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) or Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (226-8636).


NORTHEAST OIL RESERVE
---------------------
      Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have joined
Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jim Jeffords
(R-VT), and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) in asking appropriators to provide
$10 million for a home heating oil reserve in the Northeast.  They
argue that a reserve would help ensure that last winter's huge
increase in home heating oil prices never happens again.

      In the House, Reps. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Christopher Shays (R-
CT), and Edward Markey (D-MA) on June 15 offered an amendment to the
Interior appropriations bill to fund a northeastern reserve.  The
amendment lost by a two-vote margin, 193 to 195.

      Also in the House, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill
includes a one-year extension of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,
which enables the administration to establish a northeast home heating
oil reserve.

      CONTACTS:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) and Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (226-8636).


WEATHERIZATION AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
------------------------------------
      The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, June 22,
reported an Interior Appropriation bill that includes an amendment
benefiting state weatherization programs.  The provision, authored by
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), allows states and tribes to obtain up to
two-year waivers on the 25-percent state match requirement set to
begin in fiscal 2001.  The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions are continuing
to work to eliminate the match requirement totally.   Provisions to
repeal the state match are included within the Weatherization
Improvement Act (S. 2429) and the National Energy Security Act (S.
2557).

      In the House, an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill --
offered by Reps. Sanders, Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), and Ron Kind (D-
WI) -- shifted $45 million from fossil fuel research and development
to energy efficiency programs, including $20 million for the
Weatherization Assistance Program and $3.5 million for the State
Energy Program.  The amendment was approved by voice vote.

      CONTACTS:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) and Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (226-8636).


BROWNFIELDS AND HOUSING
-----------------------
      The Northeast-Midwest Institute is releasing BROWNFIELDS AND
HOUSING: HOW ARE STATE VCPS ENCOURAGING RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT?  The
report is available on the Institute's web site at
http://www.nemw.org/NAHBreport.htm.

      Prepared with partial support from the National Association of
Homebuilders, the document presents the findings of a 50-state survey
that shows how significantly states vary in terms of the type of site
contamination they address through their voluntary cleanup programs
(VCPs), the extent and form of public participation they require, and
how they approach cleanup standards and institutional controls on land
uses.  The survey found that thousands of new housing units have been
built on brownfield sites.

      CONTACTS:  Charles Bartsch and Bridget Dorfman at the Northeast-
Midwest Institute (544-5200).


BROWNFIELD LEGISLATION
----------------------
      Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jim Jeffords (R-VT), co-chairs of
the Senate Smart Growth Task Force, are asking other senators to co-
sponsor the Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration
Act of 2000 (S. 2700), sponsored by Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI).
The senators argue that "the redevelopment of brownfields capitalizes
on existing infrastructure, expands the urban tax base, encourages
economic revitalization, mitigates urban sprawl, and reduces public
health risks in many of the neighboring communities."

      S. 2700 provides funding to state and local jurisdictions for the
assessment, characterization, and remediation of brownfield sites.  It
clarifies liability for contiguous landowners, prospective purchasers,
and innocent landowners.  Finally, the bill provides greater certainty
to developers and parties conducting the cleanup, ensuring that
decisions under state programs will not be second-guessed.

      CONTACT:  John Bailey with Senator Levin (224-6221).



ADVANCE LIHEAP FUNDING
----------------------
      A group of ten Northeast-Midwest senators, expressing concern
about the lack of advance LIHEAP funding in the Senate Labor-HHS
appropriations bill, last week inserted a statement into the
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.  Since the House Labor-HHS bill does include
$1.1 billion for fiscal 2002 advance LIHEAP funding, the senators will
be sending a letter asking appropriation conferees to accept the House
position.

      CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).

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