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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 24 July 2000

H E A D L I N E S:

* Briefing:  Natural Gas Prices
* Briefing:  Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Innovations
* Briefing:  Great Lakes Water Quality
* Briefing:  Local Clean Air Innovation
* Success:  Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve
* Success:  Weatherization
* Legislation:  Corps Reform
* Letter:  LIHEAP
* Spending Breakdown:  CARA

      The Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition on Monday, July 24, will
host a briefing on the outlook for natural gas supplies and
distribution during this coming winter.  Department of Energy and
American Gas Association experts also will discuss the relationship
between natural gas and home heating oil through the use of
interruptible contracts.

      The briefing on Monday will begin at 2:00 pm in room 430 of the
Dirksen Senate Office Building.

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

      The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition on Tuesday, July
25, will host a briefing on innovation options for addressing combined
sewer overflow needs.  Hundreds of communities in the Northeast and
Midwest face huge costs associated with wastewater and drinking water
infrastructure, including an estimated $39 billion in CSO needs.  In
order to expand the impact of limited dollars, many local officials
are employing unorthodox engineering techniques and creative

      Speakers -- Stu Walesh with Earth Tech, Neil Weinstein with the
Low Impact Development Center, and George Apante Clarke with the
Natural Resources Defense Council -- will discuss success stories
about towns that have employed these alternative approaches.

      The Tuesday briefing will begin at 2:30 pm in room 2105 of the
Rayburn House Office Building.

      CONTACT:  Tim Daniels with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (226-8636).

      The Great Lakes Task Forces on Tuesday, July 25, will host a
briefing on the International Joint Commission's (IJC) TENTH BIENNIAL
REPORT ON GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY.  IJC experts will release the
report at the briefing and describe its findings.  The Tuesday event
will begin at 9:30 am in room SC-4 of the U.S. Capitol.

      CONTACT:  Rochelle Sturtevant with the Great Lakes Task Force

      The National Association of Local Government Environmental
Professionals (NALGEP) on Wednesday, July 26, will release a new
report on empowering local clean air innovation.  The event will
include presentations by top federal and local officials, including
EPA Air Chief Bob Perciasepe; Mayor Pat McCrory of Charlotte, N.C.,
Mayor Ken Barr of Fort Worth, Texas; and Montgomery County Executive
Douglas Duncan.

      The Wednesday briefing will begin at 2:00 pm in room 628 of the
Dirksen Senate Office Building.  RSVPs can be made with Inga at NALGEP

      Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Christopher Dodd (D-CT),
Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), James Jeffords (R-VT), and
Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) last week obtained $4 million for storage-
lease and maintenance expenses associated with the Northeast home
heating oil reserve.  The funding is included in the Senate fiscal
2001 Interior Appropriations bill.  The companion House legislation
does not include such funding.

      The Department of Energy on July 19 began issuing solicitations
for the Northeast Heating Oil Reserve; Ralph Lamonda (202/586-4692) is
the contact at the Defense Energy Supply Center.  Also on July 19,
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson told oil company representatives that
he will not use the reserve to manipulate market prices.  "The
government does not want to be in the heating oil business,"
Richardson said, "but we must be ready to respond to a shortage or
severe price spike."

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

      Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) last week successfully led an effort to
increase funding for the Department of Energy's Weatherization
Assistance Program (WAP).  The Senate-passed fiscal 2001 Interior
Appropriations bill now includes $140 million for WAP, the same
funding level included in the House Interior bill.

      CONTACT:  Steven Eichenauer with Senator Reed (224-4642).

      Reps. Ron Kind (E-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Tammy Baldwin
(D-WI) last week introduced the Corps of Engineers Reform Act of 2000
(H.R. 4879).  Through reforms to the Corps' planning process, the
legislation seeks to ensure that approved projects receive adequate
public and expert review, are fiscally responsible, and balance the
interest in economic development with other social and environmental
priorities.  Rep. Kind is actively seeking cosponsors for the

      CONTACT:  Allen Hance with Rep. Kind (224-5506).

      Twenty senators on July 20 sent a letter to Labor-HHS
appropriation conferees regarding the importance of advance funding
for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  The
senators seek $1.1 billion in advance fiscal 2002 appropriations, as
specified in the House bill.  A similar letter to conferees, led by
Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY) and Joe Moakley (D-MA), is still being
circulated in the House for signatures.  Conference negotiations are
expected soon.

      CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) or Mark Maier with Rep. Quinn (224-3306).

      The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is marking up a
compromise $3-billion Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA).  The
legislation is similar to a House-passed bill (H.R. 701) that directs
outer continental shelf (OCS) oil and gas royalties toward
conservation programs.

      The Senate measure would channel the OCS funds in a slightly
different manner than does the House version.  Overall, the Senate
bill would bring more money -- $32 million -- to the Northeast and
Midwest.  Thirteen of the region's 18 states would fare better with
the Senate language.  Those states receiving more money under the
House-passed bill are Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and
New York.

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

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