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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 29 August 2005







Weekly Update 29 August 2005



·         Job Opening:  Senate Legislative Director

·         Clean Water Financing

·         LIHEAP Data

·         Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors

·         Oil Heat Research Program

Job Opening:  Senate Legislative Director

The Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition is seeking a legislative director.  The bipartisan caucus is co-chaired by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and addresses a variety of economic and environmental issues important to the region.  The legislative director would work for all Members of the Senate Coalition, regardless of party.  Resumes should be sent by September 9th to dickmunson@nemw.org.



Clean Water Financing


Senator Jack Reed (R-RI), co-chair of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, is seeking signatures on a letter asking the Treasury Secretary to provide arbitrage relief for water infrastructure investments.  States lack funding for needed wastewater and stormwater treatment facilities, and Congress last year cut funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) from $1.35 billion to $1.1 billion.  Several states are leveraging their SRFs in order to increase funding, yet federal arbitrage rules hinder these efforts.  Contact:  Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).





The Northeast-Midwest Institute has posted updated information on its website about federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  One chart (http://www.nemw.org/LIHEAPchart_PurchasePowerCurrent82.pdf) shows how energy inflation has eroded the purchasing power of LIHEAP appropriations.  A second (http://www.nemw.org/LIHEAPchart_AppropsCurrent82.pdf) reveals that a fiscal 2005 appropriation of about $3 billion would have been needed in order to account for inflation and keep LIHEAP even with its 1982 funding level.  A data table lists authorization levels, funding requests from the White House, and allocations for the regular and emergency LIHEAP grants for fiscal 1982 through 2005.  Click here for links to all three new web postings.  


LIHEAP, which provides federal funds to help pay for energy costs, is an important program for northeastern and midwestern states with winter heating needs.  The full House has approved fiscal 2006 LIHEAP funding of $2.007 billion for regular program dollars and no additional funds for emergency funds.  The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved LIHEAP funding of $1.883 billion in regular program dollars and $300 million in emergency funds, but the full Senate has yet to act. 



Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors


The recent edition of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative’s quarterly newsletter is now available at:  http://www.nemw.org/glci/GLCI0705.pdf



Oil Heat Research Program


Reps. Marty Meehan (D-MA) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, are circulating a letter that supports a $1-million appropriation in the upcoming Energy and Water conference for the Oil Heat Research Program at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  The research program is designed to improve the efficiency and technology of heating oil combustion.  More than 10 million American households use oil to heat their homes.  This program has already saved over $7 billion for the 11 percent of U.S. homes using oil heat.  Contact: Lisa Mark with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226/5181).



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