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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 2 October 2006

Title: Message






Weekly Update  2 October 2006




Energy Efficiency Funding -- Letters


Members of the Northeast-Midwest Senate and Congressional Coalition are seeking signatures on letters that request appropriation conferees to support key energy-efficiency programs, including the Weatherization Assistance Program, the State Energy Program, the Energy Information Administration, Building Technologies programs, the Federal Energy Management Program, the Industrial Technologies Program, Clean Cities, and the Distributed Energy Program (including fuel cells).  These critical initiatives help address soaring energy costs, make energy markets more efficient, improve the energy infrastructure, advance effective technologies, and promote cleaner power. 


The letters are led by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Reps. Michael Castle (R-DE), Mark Udall (D-CO), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), and Bart Stupak (D-MI). 


Contacts:  Ari Strauss with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606) and Katie Waszkiewicz at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181)



Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act

Congress last week approved the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (S. 2430).  The bill reauthorizes the existing state and tribal grant program, authorizes new authority for the Fish & Wildlife Service to undertake regional restoration projects with guidance from states and tribes, and authorizes the Service to maintain a website to report actions taken under this Act. The legislation doubles the existing authorization from $8 million to $16 million. Reauthorization of this program is one of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy Report recommendations. The bill's chief sponsors were Sens. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Carl Levin (D-MI) and Reps. Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).  Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).

Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Letter

House members are circulating a letter supporting the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program within the Department of Commerce that assists small and medium-sized firms.  The letter encourages congressional conferees to support the Senate’s $106 million appropriation for fiscal 2007.  Contact: Katie Waszkiewicz with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition and Manufacturing Task Force (202/226-5181).

Northeast Agriculture – Policy

The Northeast-Midwest Institute on November 9-10 will co-host a Northeast Regional Policy Summit for policymakers, advocates, and educators in order to exchange ideas about a Farm Bill policy agenda for the region.  Sponsored by Northeast Ag Works!, the event will be held at BWI Airport Marriott,
Baltimore, Maryland.  For registration information and background on the event and its sponsors, see: http://www.northeastagworks.org.  Contact: Allen Hance at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200).