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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 7 April 2003



H E A D L I N E S

 

* Briefing:  Natural Gas Prices and Supplies

* Briefing:  Housing in America

* House Letter:  Brownfield Appropriations

* Senate Letters:  LIHEAP, TAA, and Energy

* House Letters:  Energy Efficiency

* Amendments:  LIHEAP

* Report:  Corps of Engineers and Brownfield Redevelopment

 

 

BRIEFING:  NATURAL GAS PRICES AND SUPPLIES

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The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions on Monday, April 7, will host a briefing on natural gas prices and supplies in the Northeast and Midwest.  Natural gas prices are high, and a recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) report finds a strong possibility of price spikes in 2003.  Among the speakers will be EIA's administrator, a natural gas supplier, a large natural gas consumer, and proponents of unconventional fuels.

 

The April 7 briefing will run from 2:00 pm until 3:00 pm in room 121 of the Cannon House Office Building.

 

Contact:  Suzanne Watson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200).

 

 

BRIEFING:  HOUSING IN AMERICA

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The Coalitions and the California Institute for Federal Policy Studies on Friday, April 11, will host a briefing on trends, needs, and opportunities associated with housing.  Speaking will be representatives of the Census Bureau, National Association of Home Builders, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, and majority and minority staff for the Senate Banking Committee.  The April 11 briefing will run from 10:00 am until 11:30 am in 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).

 

 

HOUSE LETTER:  BROWNFIELD APPROPRIATIONS

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Leaders of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition are circulating a letter expressing strong support for brownfield appropriations within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The letter seeks full funding for the EPA brownfield programs as authorized by the Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002.  It also supports HUD's Brownfield Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) program, which was zeroed out in the president's fiscal 2004 budget proposal.

 

Contacts:  Charlie Bartsch at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200) and Michael Beckerman at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496).

 

 

SENATE LETTERS:  LIHEAP, TAA, AND ENERGY

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Leaders of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition are circulating letters that seek appropriations for LIHEAP, Trade Adjustment Assistant Program for Firms, and a variety of energy efficiency programs, including Weatherization and State Energy Program.  Deadlines for signatures are April 8 for LIHEAP, April 11 for energy, and April 15 for Trade Adjustment Assistance.

 

Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).

 

 

HOUSE LETTERS:  ENERGY EFFICIENCY

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In addition to last week's letter on Weatherization and State Energy Programs, members of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition asked appropriators to provide adequate funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technology, Distributed Energy Resources, Innovations for Existing Plants, and Energy Information Administration.

 

Contacts:  Diane DeVaul at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200) and Michael Beckerman at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496).

 

 

AMENDMENTS:  LIHEAP

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Under pressure from the Republican leadership and many Northeast-Midwest lawmakers, Rep. Charles Pickering (R-MS) withdrew from last week's Energy and Commerce markup an amendment that would have stripped Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding from northeastern, midwestern, and many western states.  However, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) announced his plan to introduce a House floor amendment that would divert LIHEAP funding to hot-weather and away from cold-weather states.  It is unclear if the Rules Committee will allow Rep. Green's controversial amendment.

 

Contact:  Michael Beckerman at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496).

 

 

REPORT:  CORPS OF ENGINEERS AND BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT

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A new Northeast-Midwest Institute report describes the authorities and agreements that enable the Army Corps of Engineers to assist in brownfield redevelopment projects, and it provides a variety of case studies to illustrate the Corps' role.  The report also notes legal, procedural, and financial barriers to the Corps' brownfield activities, and it suggests ways to facilitate the agency's involvement when it can leverage ongoing projects.  The report is available as a PDF file at http://www.nemw.org/CorpsBFredev.pdf.

 

Contact:  Barbara Wells at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200).