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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 24 April 2006






Weekly Update 24 April 2006



  • Perfect Power System – Briefing
  • Community Revitalization – Report
  • Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water – Letters
  • Cogeneration in the Northeast – Conference
  • Soo Lock Construction Project -- Letter

Perfect Power System – Briefing


The Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions on Wednesday, April 26, will host a briefing on the perfect power system.  Reliable and affordable electricity continues to be a key factor that will determine the future of the U.S. economy.  Unfortunately, today’s electricity grid and generators are antiquated, vulnerable to disruption, and inadequate to power future needs reliably.  This briefing provides an overview of how we got to where we are, the options we face, and the consequences of the choices we make.  Speaking will be Richard Munson, author of From Edison to Enron, and Kurt Yeager, chairman of the World Energy Council’s study on energy and climate change and past-president of the Electric Power Research Institute.  The hour-long briefing on April 26 will begin at 1:00 pm in 1539 Longworth House Office Building.  Contact:  Diane DeVaul at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4009).


Community Revitalization – Report


Northeast-Midwest Institute has released a new research report on Federal Policy Ideas for Community Revitalization: Suggestions from Congressionally Hosted Roundtable Discussions of Federal Policies for Older Core Cities and Close-in Suburbs, downloadable at http://www.nemw.org/NEMW_FedPolicy&CommRevital2006.pdf.  The report, funded by the Surdna Foundation, provides about 40 specific federal policy suggestions culled mostly from roundtable discussions hosted last year by Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition Co-chair Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and by NEMW Congressional Coalition members Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter of Michigan and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio.  The report covers federal policy ideas regarding brownfield and vacant property redevelopment, housing, water and transportation infrastructure, business and economic development, and energy.  Federal funding cuts, gaps between federal programs and local needs, and federal program rigidities have had adverse impacts on the revitalization prospects and quality of life in America’s cities.  The new report compiles federal policy ideas to help revitalize America’s older cities and suburbs.  Contact:  Matt Kane at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (612/825-0443).

Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water – Letters


Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) are seeking signatures on a letter that supports $1.35 billion in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), and at least $1 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).  CWSRF monies are loaned to communities and loan repayments are recycled back into the program to fund additional water quality protection projects.  Similarly, the DWSRF program makes funds available to drinking water systems in order to finance infrastructure improvements. Since their inception, the programs have provided more than $61.35 billion to more than to 23,000 projects around the country.  While this amount represents an important federal investment, the Congressional Budget Office estimates a spending gap of as much as $388 billion for clean and safe water needs over the next 20 years.  The letter’s signature deadline has been extended to Tuesday, April 25.  Contact: Elizabeth Mark at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181).


Senators Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), James Jeffords (I-VT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Jack Reed (D-RI) are seeking signatures on a letter that supports $1.35 billion in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), and $850 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).  The letter’s signature deadline has been extended to Tuesday, April 25.  Contact:  Ari Strauss at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).

Cogeneration in the Northeast – Conference


The Northeast Combined Heat and Power Initiative on May 11 will sponsor its annual meeting at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.  The conference’s focus will be on reducing energy costs through recycled energy.  Information on the meeting can be found at www.northeastchp.org/nechpi


Soo Lock Construction Project – Letter


The Great Lakes Task Force is circulating a letter to the Department. of Commerce about the Soo Lock construction project. The Corps of Engineers had asked the Department of Commerce to provide comments to the Corps on the proposed replacement lock. The Task Force letter encourages the Department’s support and urges it to respond to the Corps. The letter’s signature deadline is April 28th.  Contact: Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).


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