[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

NFC: Fw: River Policy Update, Week of March 19, 2001

For additional information on any bill, visit Thomas at 

American Rivers' Policy Update
Week of March 19, 2001


* Budget 
* Energy Policy
* Water Resources
* Status of Major Legislation
* Congressional Calendar
* Take Action
* Jobs


This week the House Budget Committee plans to move forward with the 
FY'02 budget process. A markup of the FY'02 budget resolutions draft 
is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.  The Committee is expected to 
support Bush's plan to cap the increase in federal discretionary 
spending for fiscal year 2002 at 4 percent, roughly the rate of 
inflation.  Some members of both parties agree that the 4 percent 
goal is unrealistic.  For more details on the budget, see the March 5 
River Policy Update.

Hearing tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 in Cannon House 
Office Building 210.


Energy Trends 

On Tuesday, March 20, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee 
held a hearing to discuss "U.S. energy trends."  Testimony was 
expected to address high natural gas prices, dependence on foreign 
oil, issues related to the production of oil and gas on federal 
lands, fuel economy standards, and other energy matters.  At the 
hearing, Energy Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AL) planned to 
argue in favor of the energy package he introduced in February.  
Murkowski is waiting to get the go ahead from the Bush Administration 
to start a big push for his energy package.  The special White House 
energy task force headed by Vice President Cheney is expected to 
release its assessment of national energy policy by mid-April.  Last 
week, Energy Committee Ranking Member Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) was 
expected to introduce a comprehensive bill of his own but the bill's 
release was delayed for unexplained reasons.  Bingaman's bill aims to 
tackle the nation's energy needs from both the demand and supply 


This week the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee will hold two 
hearings to assess the California energy situation and discuss 
possible state and federal solutions to the electricity crunch.  The 
testimony is expected to focus on the causes of the California power 
market disruptions, possible bankruptcy among California investor-
owner utilities, and the anticipated supply problem this summer.  
Much of the focus will be alleged price gouging by independent power 
generators.  Last week Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) sent a letter 
to Attorney General John Ashcroft demanding a full-scale 
investigation into the pricing practices of power generators and 
pipeline operators in the West.  Several other Representatives 
recently have called for a variety of federal investigations into 
charges that generators may have charged utilities inflated rates 
during a recent spate of Stage 3 emergency power alerts.  

Hearings scheduled for Tuesday, March 20 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, 
March 22 in Rayburn House Office Building.

CO2 Emissions Reversal

Last week President Bush reversed course on plans to regulate carbon 
dioxide emissions.  Bush argued that limiting CO2 would be unwise 
in the face of the California energy crunch.  Representative Ed 
Markey (D-MA) and many other Democrats wonder how much of an 
influence backroom lobbying by the coal industry and the electric 
utility industry had on the administration's decision.       

Public Lands

This week the House Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee will 
hold another hearing to examine the latest oil and gas resource 
estimates for the nation, including the Arctic National Wildlife 
Refuge.  The subcommittee will focus on federal and offshore lands 
and the potential for oil and gas development.  Potential oil and gas 
development in ANWR also will be discussed.  The USGS began its 
assessment of oil and gas resources in 1995.  Democrats like 
Subcommittee Ranking Member Ron Kind (D-WI) feel as though opening 
ANWR and other federal lands is not a solution to the problem, but 
rather a more supply at any costs.  Kind advocates a comprehensive 
approach that involves conservation and wise use of our natural 

Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m. in Longworth 
House Office Building 1334.   

Air Pollution

The Senate Environment Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, and 
Private Property will hold its first oversight hearing of the 107th 
Congress on harmonizing the Clean Air Act with the nation's energy 
policy.  The hearing will focus on clean air issues dealing with 
electric utility emissions like the multi-pollutant bills that are 
being proposed to reduce power plant emissions, and is likely to 
discuss President Bush's decision last week to reverse his campaign 
pledge on regulating CO2 emissions.  

Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 9 a.m. in Dirksen 
Senate Office Building 406.

Energy Security

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing 
in the coming weeks to discuss a report released last month that 
predicts growth of more than 50 percent in worldwide energy demand by 
2020, with increasing use of fossil fuels.  The three-volume report 
released in February was prepared by the Center for Strategic and 
International Studies beginning in mid-1998.  

Hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 9:30 a.m. in Dirksen 
Senate Office Building 106.


Klamath Basin Project Review

On Wednesday, March 21, a Senate Energy panel plans to looks at how a 
mounting water shortage in the Northwest will affect the Klamath 
Basin Project in California and Oregon.  The looming problems 
associated with the water shortage are two fold; the lack of water 
negatively affects distribution to farmers, aquatic life, and other 
interests in the area and it will also make recently approved 
feasibility studies on how to wring more water out of the watershed 
more difficult to complete.  The Klamath project, which began in 
1905, is one the Bureau of Reclamation's oldest.  The project 
includes the Upper Klamath Lake, the Klamath River, Clear Lake 
Reservoir, Gerber Reservoir, Lost River, Lower Klamath, and Tule 
Lake, and includes national wildlife refuges, dams, canals, pumping 
plants and more than 200,000 acres of irrigable land.  Regional water 
demand continues to grow.  Last year federal agencies were already 
calling for more water to be left in the streams to help salmon and 
suckers listed under the Endangered Species Act.  Unlike much of the 
rest of the Pacific Northwest, the Klamath Basin has not experienced 
drought conditions this year.  

Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 2 p.m. in Dirksen 
Senate Office Building 628.     

Parks, Public Lands and Rivers

On Thursday, March 22, House Resources Subcommittee is scheduled to 
hold its the first of hearing first plans to act on bills addressing 
specific parks, monuments, and rivers.  Bills that will be marked up 
include one that will ensure continued access for hunters to land 
added to Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument last year by 
President Clinton, a bill that would initiate a study of sites and 
resources significant to the Cold War, and a bill to study a possible 
addition to the national park system in New Jersey and a possible 
addition to the wild and scenic rivers system in Connecticut.  

The markup is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 22 in 
Longworth House Office Building 1324.


Nuclear Energy Electricity Assurance Act of 2001

Latest Action:  On April 7, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) introduced 
S. 472, legislation intended to increase the use of nuclear power in 
the United States. 

The bill provides $406 million for five main provisions: advancing 
support for nuclear energy; encouraging new plant construction; 
assuring a so-called "uniform playing field" for nuclear power; an 
attempt to create waste solutions; and improving Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission regulations. 

Air Pollution

Latest Action:  On April 15, Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT) introduced 
the Clean Power Act of 2001.  In the coming weeks, Representatives 
Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) will introduce 
similar legislation.  Both bills aim to cut electric power plant 
emissions of four major pollutants, including the greenhouse gas 
carbon dioxide.  



Energy and Commerce:
Hearing on California Power Crisis
Tuesday, March 20 in Rayburn House Office Building 2123

Markup on FY'02 Budget Resolution
Tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 in Cannon House Office 
Building 210

Hearing on Transportation Budget
Wednesday, March 21 in Rayburn House Office Building 2358

Energy and Commerce:
Hearing on California Power Crisis Continued
Thursday, March 22 in Rayburn House Office Building 2322

Hearing on Nuclear Safety Bill
Thursday, March 22 in Rayburn House Office Building 2318

Hearing on Natural Gas in Federal Lands
Thursday, March 22 in Longworth House Office Building 1334


Energy and Natural Resources:
Hearing on U.S. Energy Trends
Tuesday, March 20 at 9:30 a.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building 106

Environment and Public Works:
Hearing on Clean Air and Energy Policy
Wednesday, March 21 at 9 a.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building 406

Energy and Natural Resources:
Hearing on Oregon Water Project
Wednesday, March 21 at 2 p.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building 628

Energy and Natural Resources:
Hearing on National Parks Concessions
Thursday, March 22 at 2:30 p.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building 192 


Follow the latest American Rivers' Action Alerts and Press Releases!  
Take action to help save America's rivers.  Visit 


American Rivers currently has a number of job openings.  See our 
employment page for the following opportunities:

* Online Community Manager
* Conservation Assistant for Dam Removal Program
* Conservation Assistant for Outreach
* Organizer/Outreach Specialist for Missouri River Campaign


Contact Jamie Mierau, Assistant to the Vice President for 
Conservation, at 202-347-7550.

Legislative information taken from sources including: Greenwire, 
Congressional Green Sheets, and Environment and Energy Daily.

To be removed from this distribution list please send an email to 
outreach at action_amrivers.org with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.