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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 2 May 2005



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Weekly Update 2 May 2005

 

HIGHLIGHTS

·         Military Base Closings

·         Wholesale Electricity Markets

·         Brownfield Redevelopment

·         Community Development Block Grants

·         Energy Efficiency

·         Weatherization

·         LIHEAP

·         Invasive Species


Military Base Closings

 

The Northeast-Midwest Institute has updated and re-released its report, entitled Base Closings and Military Presence in the Northeast-Midwest: The Nation’s Unguarded Region, with data on reserve and National Guard forces.  Available only to paying members of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions and states that support the Institute, the full revised report includes detailed data on a wide range of issues concerning base closings, Defense Department staffing, and the existing bases and facilities.  A general-circulation version of the new report, without detailed data breakdowns, is available for download at www.nemw.org/fedspend.htm#reports.  The report argues that the Defense Department and the 2005 BRAC Commission should steer clear of base closings and deep cuts in military personnel for the Northeast-Midwest region.  Contact:  Matt Kane with the Northeast-Midwest Institute (612/825-0443).


 

Wholesale Electricity Markets

 

Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Susan Collins (R-ME) are seeking signatures on a letter to the Energy Committee about electricity issues of importance to states in the Northeast-Midwest region.  The letter argues for an energy bill that supports the development of competitive wholesale power markets.  The signature deadline is Wednesday, May 4.  Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606). 


 

Brownfield Redevelopment

 

Senators Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), James Jeffords (I-VT), and Carl Levin (D-MI) are seeking signatures on a letter supporting $250 million in appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program.  The initiative provides states and communities with resources to assess, cleanup, and redevelop brownfields.  Since 1995, it has leveraged more than $6.5 billion – creating approximately 25,000 new jobs – from both the private and public sectors to facilitate cleanup and redevelopment projects.  The signature deadline is Thursday, May 5.  Contact:  Alice Yates with the Senate Smart Growth Task Force (202/224-2683). 


 

Community Development Block Grants

 

Reps. James Oberstar (D-MN) and Rob Simmons (R-CT) are circulating a letter asking appropriators to provide level funding – $4.732 billion – for the Community Development Block Grant program and adequate funding for other HUD programs in fiscal year 2006.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) community development and housing programs build home ownership, support neighborhood revitalization and increase access to affordable housing.  The signature deadline is Thursday, May 12.  Contact:  Lisa Mark with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181). 


 

Energy Efficiency

 

Reps. John McHugh (R-NY) and Edward Markey (D-MA) are seeking signatures on a letter supporting the State Energy Program, Industrial Technologies Program, Energy Information Administration, Distributed Energy Program, and Equipment Standards and Analysis Program.  These initiatives help mitigate the effects of soaring energy costs and make energy markets more efficient.  The signature deadline is Wednesday, May 4.  Contact:  Lisa Mark with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181). 


 

Weatherization

 

Reps. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), and Mark Udall (D-CO) are seeking signatures on a letter that supports the president’s budget request for the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program. The letter calls for $230 million in fiscal 2006 to help improve the energy efficiency for low-income families throughout the country and to reduce the energy costs of those least able to afford them.  Contact:  Warren Gunnels with Rep. Sanders (202/225-4115).


 

LIHEAP

 

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, are inviting senators to join them on a letter requesting $3 billion in regular Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for fiscal 2006 and advanced funding for fiscal 2007.  LIHEAP is a vital safety net for our nation’s low-income households, for whom home energy costs are unaffordable.  The signature deadline is May 11.  Contact: Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).


 

Invasive Species

 

Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are seeking cosponsors for the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act of 2005 (S. 770).  Aquatic invasive species harm ecosystems, disrupt food chains, crowd out native organisms, and also may threaten human health.  The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy stated, “The most effective weapon against invasive species is prevention.”  S. 770 provides a comprehensive program to dramatically reduce the threat of aquatic invasive species.  Contact:  Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force or Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition.

 

Senators Levin and Collins also are inviting senators to join them on a letter seeking appropriations for federal programs that prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.  Many agencies’ expertise are required to contain and control the exotic species infestations effectively, including the Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Army Corps of Engineers.  The signature deadline is May 10.  Contact:  Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force.

 


 

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