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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 25 September 2000


*  Responses to High Energy Prices
*  Briefing on Persistent Organic Pollutants
*  Update on Brownfield Legislation
*  Letter on Milk Market Manipulations

      The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions are spearheading several actions
associated with low energy reserves and high prices.  Among the recent
activities, northeastern members talked last week with Energy
Secretary Bill Richardson, and they have requested meetings with
Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and President Clinton.  Senators
Paul Wellstone (D-MN) and Jim Jeffords (R-VT) are leading a letter,
already signed by 35 senators, requesting additional funds for the Low
Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Senators Jeffords and
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) are advancing a letter, already signed
by 21 senators, seeking higher appropriations for Weatherization and
energy efficiency programs.  Similar letters, including one on the
Energy Star program, are being circulated in the House.  Other members
are requesting larger setasides for the recently-created Northeast
regional heating oil reserve, as well as releases or swaps from the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

      Stocks of home heating oil are 50 percent below capacity.
According to Senator Jeffords, "Bears are better prepared for this
winter than we are.  With limited supplies and a projected doubling in
the price for home heating oil, the Northeast is certainly facing a
significant crisis this winter."

      CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor with the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) and Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (226-8636).

      The Great Lakes Task Forces on Thursday, September 28, will host
a briefing by the administration  including representatives of the
Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, and Department of Interior  on
negotiations associated with the international treaty on persistent
organic pollutants (POPs).

      POPs are chemical substances that persist in the environment,
bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse
effects to human health and the environment.  The Great Lakes and
surrounding basin are particularly vulnerable to substances
transported through the air from around the world.

      The briefing on September 28 will begin at 10:00 am in room SC-6
of the U.S. Capitol.

      CONTACT:  Rochelle Sturtevant at the Great Lakes Task Force (224-

      The Northeast-Midwest Institute this week updated its compilation
of federal legislative proposals to promote brownfield cleanup and
redevelopment.  The publication is available at

      One proposal  the Brownfields Revitalization and Restoration Act
(S. 2700)  now has attracted 67 cosponsors, or more than two-thirds
of the Senate.  That bill was introduced by Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-

      CONTACTS:  Charles Bartsch and Bridget Dorfman at the Northeast-
Midwest Institute (544-5200).

      Reps. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), David Obey (D-WI), Gil Gutknecht
(R-WI), and Tim Holden (D-PA) are gathering signatures on a letter
asking Attorney General Janet Reno to open an anti-trust investigation
into whether milk processors and supermarkets are illegally
interfering with the milk market in order to keep consumer prices high
and farmer payments low.  Dairy farmers for years have complained that
the payments they receive for milk have been in steep decline but that
consumers have not reaped any savings.  Now, according to news
reports, consumers, too, suspect that increased concentration in the
milk marketing industry has allowed for market power abuses.  The
letter's deadline is Friday, September 29th.

      CONTACT:  John Mimikakis with in Rep. Boehlert (225-3665).

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