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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 9 May 2005






Weekly Update 9 May 2005



·         Reliable Energy Data – Briefing

·         LIHEAP – Letters

·         Community Development Block Grant – Letter

·         Aquatic Invasive Species – Letter

·         Brownfield Redevelopment – Letter


Reliable Energy Data – Briefing


For producers and consumers to adjust effectively to changes in supply and demand, energy markets need accurate and timely data.  Unfortunately, the Energy Information Administration’s data analysts are not able to keep pace with rapidly-changing markets, new players, new fuels, and growing demand.  Budget shortfalls recently forced EIA to cancel two crude oil surveys that collect domestic and international data, and the agency has had to set a goal of only 70 percent reliability for other key surveys.


A Capitol Hill briefing on Thursday, May 12, will focus on the need for more reliable and timely energy data.  Speakers include: Dr. David Wyss, senior economist, Standard and Poor’s; David Aschenbach, senior vice president, Moody’s; Matthew Simmons, chairman, Simmons and Company International; and Robert McNally, Tudor Investments.  The event is sponsored by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, and Senator Jeff Bingaman.  The National Petrochemical and Refineries Association will provide refreshments.


The May 12 briefing will begin at 2:30 pm in 364 Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Contact:  Diane DeVaul at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4009).



LIHEAP – Letters


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


Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Robert Simmons (R-CT), and Charles Bass (R-NH) are inviting members to join them on a similar LIHEAP letter in the House.  The signature deadline is May 13.  Contacts: Jamie Wise with Rep. DeLauro (202/225-2262) or Lisa Mark with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181).



Community Development Block Grants -- Letter


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). 



Aquatic Invasive Species – Letter


Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are circulating letters to four appropriations subcommittees in support of programs to address the problem of aquatic invasive species.  Invasive species harm ecosystems, disrupt food chains, crowd out native organisms, and threaten human health. Many agencies' expertise are required to contain and control exotic species infestations effectively:  the Coast Guard implements the ballast management program; the Fish and Wildlife Service protects inland waters; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration manages the interface with resource-based industry; and the Corps of Engineers investigates engineering tools for species control. The deadline for signing onto this letter is May 12th. Contact:  Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).


Brownfield Redevelopment -- Letter


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 Friday, May 13.  Contact:  Alice Yates with the Senate Smart Growth Task Force (202/224-2683). 



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