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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 9 April 2001



H I G H L I G H T S

*  Housing and Smart Growth
*  Millennium Pipeline Across the Great Lakes
*  LIHEAP Budget Increase
*  Mercury Emissions
*  Great Lakes Environmental Summit
*  Illinois Energy Plan
*  Fuel Cells
*  Smart Growth Letter to the President
*  Upcoming Briefings


HOUSING AND SMART GROWTH
------------------------
     The Senate Smart Growth Task Force on Wednesday, April 11, will
host a briefing on housing and smart growth.  Barbara Wells of the
Northeast-Midwest Institute will moderate a panel that includes
speakers from the National Association of Homebuilders, National
Association of Realtors, Local Initiatives Support Corporation,
National Neighborhood Coalition, and the Fannie Mae Corporation.

     The hour-long briefing on April 11 will begin at 1:00 pm in room
430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

     CONTACT:  Barbara Wells at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200).


MILLENNIUM PIPELINE ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES
------------------------------------------
     The Great Lakes Task Forces on Thursday, April 12, are hosting a
briefing on natural gas pipelines across the Great Lakes.  The lack of
pipeline carrying capacity is a key barrier limiting natural gas
supplies and raising its price, but pipelines on lake bottoms raise a
variety of environmental concerns, ranging from stirring up
contaminated sediment to destroying fisheries habitat.  Energy
companies have considered several routes, but the Millennium Pipeline
project, going across the bottom of Lake Erie from Canada to New York,
is the only one that has progressed far enough to be submitted for
federal approval.

     This briefing -- by representatives of the Millennium Pipeline
Project, Northeast-Midwest Institute, and Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection -- will focus on the project, but also will
address the region's natural gas supply and general environmental
concerns associated with pipelines.

     The April 12 briefing will run from 2:00 pm until 3:00 pm in room
SC-6 of the U.S. Capitol.

     CONTACT:  Elizabeth Mountz of the Great Lakes Task Force (224-
0866).


LIHEAP BUDGET INCREASE
----------------------
     The Senate on April 6 approved an amendment to the fiscal 2002
Budget Resolution that increases regular funding authority for Low
Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by $2 billion, to a
total of $3.4 billion.  The amendment also provides $600 million for
emergency LIHEAP authority.  Forward funding for fiscal 2003 was not
included in the resolution.  LIHEAP helps low-income families
supplement their energy needs.

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


MERCURY EMISSIONS
-----------------
     Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are asking
Northeast-Midwest Coalition members to sign a letter supporting the
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) determination last December
to regulate mercury emissions from utilities.  The letter urges that
this regulation not allow trading of mercury because of its toxicity,
and it references economic, health, and environmental effects of
mercury in the Northeast and Midwest.  The deadline for signature is
Friday, April 20.

     CONTACTS:  Tim Benner in Sen. Leahy's office (224-5544) or Ginny
Worrest with Sen. Snowe (224-5344).


GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL SUMMIT
--------------------------------

     The Northeast-Midwest Institute in late March sponsored the
annual Great Lakes environmental summit at which regional advocates
reviewed pending legislation and discussed options for cooperation.
Participants included region-based scientists, environmentalists, and
industrialists.  A summary of the discussion soon will be available at
http://www.nemw.org/greatlakes.htm.

     CONTACT:  Allegra Cangelosi at the Northeast-Midwest Institute
(544-5200).


ILLINOIS ENERGY PLAN
--------------------
     The State of Illinois has released a long-term energy plan that
addresses the state's challenges and opportunities.  A copy, entitled
"Preparing an Energy Policy for the State of Illinois," can be
obtained at http://www.state.il.us/gov/pdf/energydoc.pdf.

     CONTACT:  Eric Brenner with the State of Illinois (202/624-7760).


FUEL CELLS
----------
     Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Nancy Johnson (D-CT) have
introduced legislation to create tax credits for the purchase of
stationary fuel cells. The legislation would create a $1,000 per
kilowatt tax credit for purchasers of all types and sizes of
stationary fuel cell systems.  The credit would be available starting
January 2002 and extend for five years.  An identical Senate bill will
be introduced the week of April 23 by Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

     CONTACTS:  Michelle Nellenbach with Rep. Johnson (225-4476) and
Kirsten Cutler with Sen. Lieberman (224-4041).


SMART GROWTH LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT
------------------------------------
     Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jim Jeffords (R-VT), co-chairs of
the Senate Smart Growth Task Force, and 12 other senators sent a
letter urging President Bush to make smart growth a top priority of
his administration.  The letter asked the president to establish an
interagency Smart Growth Working Group in order to help improve
federal coordination of issues that impact growth management.
Additionally, the senators asked President Bush to support
legislation, appropriations and incentives that will help communities
plan for and manage growth and preserve open space.

     CONTACT: Heather Smith with the Senate Smart Growth Task Force
(224-5141).


UPCOMING BRIEFINGS
------------------
     Upcoming Northeast-Midwest events are posted on the Calendar at
http://www.nemw.org/calendar.htm.  A permanent link to the Calendar is at the top of the Northeast-Midwest News page (http://www.nemw.org/news.htm).