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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 31 July 2000



H E A D L I N E S
-----------------

*  FTC Gasoline Price Investigation
*  Energy Policy and Conservation Act Amendments
*  Oil Heat Forum
*  Conservation and Reinvestment Act
*  Smart Growth Legislation:  Community Charter Act
*  LIHEAP
*  E-Commerce Amendment
*  Report:  Manufacturing Productivity



FTC GASOLINE PRICE INVESTIGATION
--------------------------------
      The Federal Trade Commission on July 28 released a preliminary
report on gasoline price spikes in the Midwest.  The agency's initial
findings are that market factors do not completely explain the price
rise.  The update also discusses the investigation's status and next
steps.  The preliminary report is available at http://www.ftc.gov.


ENERGY POLICY AND CONSERVATION ACT AMENDMENTS
---------------------------------------------
      The Senate is close to passing the Energy Policy and Conservation
Act, which authorizes operation of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The legislation also includes several provisions of importance to the
Northeast-Midwest region, including:

      * improvements to the weatherization assistance program (S.
        2429);

      * establishment of an education campaign regarding summer fill
        and fuel budgeting programs (S. 2224);

      * creation of a Northeast home heating oil reserve (revised
        version of S. 2047);

      * establishment of an Annual Home Heating Readiness Report (S. 2072);

      * creation of a national oil heat research alliance (S. 348);
        and

      * authority for oil exchanges from the Strategic Petroleum
        Reserve (revision of S. 1951).

      A pay-go budgetary problem blocked passage before the August
recess.  The Senate Energy Committee and Budget Committee are working
to resolve this issue.

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


OIL HEAT FORUM
--------------
      The New England Fuel Institute on Monday, July 31, is hosting an
open industry forum with Energy Secretary Bill Richardson.  The forum
begins at 9:30 am at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.  While free to
all fuel oil dealers, DOE is asking participants to register.

      CONTACT: Barbara Crapa with the Department of Energy (586-3583).


CONSERVATION AND REINVESTMENT ACT
---------------------------------
      The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 25
passed sweeping legislation to protect the nation's parks, wildlife
reserves, and historic sites.  The Conservation and Reinvestment Act
(CARA) would channel almost $3 billion a year in federal royalties
from oil and gas production on the outer continental shelf to a wide
range of federal, state, and local conservation programs, including
$450 million for the federal government to buy land for parks and
natural resource protection.  The bill provides $703 million annually
for the Northeast-Midwest region.

      CARA now awaits Senate floor action.  The House on May 11 passed
its version (HR 701) by 315-102.

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


SMART GROWTH LEGISLATION:  COMMUNITY CHARTER ACT
------------------------------------------------
      Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) on July 27 introduced the Community
Character Act that would authorize $25 million over four years for a
HUD grant program to help states develop or update their land use
statutes and comprehensive plans.  Original co-sponsors are Senators
Jim Jeffords (R-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT),
Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Max Cleland (D-GA), Max Baucus (D-MT), and
Robert Bennett (R-UT).

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


LIHEAP
------
      Reps. Joe Moakley (D-MA) and Jack Quinn (R-NY) last week
spearheaded a letter asking appropriation conferees to provide $1.4
billion in fiscal 2001 and $1.5 billion in advance fiscal 2002 funding
for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  The
letter was signed by 169 House members.  The House Labor-HHS
Appropriations bill had provided $1.1 billion for fiscal 2001 and
2002, while the Senate offered $1.1 billion only for fiscal 2001.

      CONTACT:  Mark Maier with Rep. Quinn (225-3306).


E-COMMERCE AMENDMENT
--------------------
      Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) in September will offer an amendment to
the Commerce-Justice- State Appropriations bill, calling for a study
of an e-commerce extension program.  Such an initiative was
recommended by the Task Forces on Manufacturing.  Sen. Bingaman
advanced a similar amendment last year, but the provision was lost in
conference.  He is seeking co-sponsors for the amendment.

      CONTACT:  John Jennings with Sen. Bingaman (224-3882).


REPORT:  MANUFACTURING PRODUCTIVITY
-----------------------------------
      The National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM), an
industry-led, nonprofit organization, has released a new report
entitled Smart Prosperity: An Agenda for Enhancing Productivity
Growth.  The document is available at http://www.nacfam.org.

      CONTACT:  Jeff Kueter with NACFAM (216-2744).

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