[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
NFC: Fw: River Policy Update, Week of December 10, 2001
American Rivers' Policy Update
Week of December 10, 2001
IN THIS WEEK'S UPDATE:
* Farm bill
* Energy policy
* Water policy
* Congressional calendar
* Take action
A floor vote on the Senate farm bill is possible as early as Tuesday
of this week. Republicans have criticized the Democratic version of
the bill for over-subsidizing crop production, and conservationists
have voiced concern that the bill will lack sufficient funding for
agricultural conservation programs. In response to those criticisms,
a spokesperson for Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) said
last Friday that Harkin would offer an amendment this week to restore
$1 billion in conservation funding that was removed from the bill in
committee. The conservation funding would be made available by
cutting a controversial price support program for dairy products.
Conservationists applauded the promise to increase conservation
funding, and a spokesman for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that
Harkin's proposed amendment would eliminate the need for Sens. Leahy
and Harry Reid (D-NV) to offer an amendment that would have provided
for a similar increase. Support for Harkin's conservation amendment
among Republicans and the Administration appears to be less certain,
and a competing version of the bill will likely be offered by Sens.
Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Pat Roberts (D-KS).
Energy bill update
It looks as if Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will survive
this session of Congress without being opened up for oil and gas
drilling. Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK) failed last week to attach the
House energy bill (HR 4), which includes an ANWR-opening provision,
to railroad retirement legislation.
The environmental threats posed by the development of ANWR prompted
American Rivers to list the wildlife refuge's Canning River as the
nation's second most endangered river in its America's Most
Endangered Rivers of 2001 report.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats released draft comprehensive energy
legislation last week that would protect ANWR from drilling and
promote renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.
Conservationists said that the draft bill represents an improvement
over other energy legislation proposed this year, but recommended the
inclusion of a provision raising fuel economy in cars and light
trucks. The draft bill also includes language that would alter the
hydropower dam relicensing process. While this language is
characterized by Senate staff as a "placeholder," to be replaced by
consensus language, state agencies and conservationists have
expressed concern that any effort to streamline hydropower licensing
must contain increased environmental protections as well.
Electricity transmission and supply hearing
This Wednesday the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee of the House
Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on electricity
transmission and supply issues. The committee chair, Rep. Joe Barton
(R-TX) will use the hearing to discuss his electricity restructuring
bill, HR 3406. The bill appears unlikely to go to markup before the
end of this session. The primary aim of the draft bill is to
increase the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's authority over
Hearing: 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12 in 2123 Rayburn
Colorado River hearing
The House Resources Committee's Water and Power Subcommittee held a
field hearing in Las Vegas on Dec. 10 to discuss a plan by the state
of California to reduce its use of Colorado River water. California
has long been able to use 800,000 acre-feet more than it is entitled
to under the 1922 Colorado River Compact, but growing demand for
water from other states in the Colorado basin is forcing the state to
use only its allotted share of 4.4 million acre-feet per year.
Field hearing: 11:00 a.m., Monday, Dec. 10 in Las Vegas
Cross-border wastewater hearing
This Wednesday the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee's Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment will
hold a hearing to discuss the progress of negotiations to resolve a
dispute over the treatment of wastewater that flows from Mexico into
San Diego County via the Tijuana River.
Hearing: 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12 in 2167 Rayburn
Field hearing on Colorado River plan
11:00 a.m., Monday, Dec. 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Field hearing on fisheries research
10:00 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 11 in Ocean City, Maryland
Hearing on border wastewater
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12 in 2167 Rayburn
Hearing on electricity issues
Energy and Commerce Committee
1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12 in 2123 Rayburn
Hearing on Parks bills
10:00 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 13 in 1334 Longworth
Follow the latest American Rivers' Action Alerts and Press Releases!
Take action to help save America's Rivers. Visit
American Rivers currently has a two job openings. See our employment
webpage at http://www.amrivers.org/jobs/default.htm for the following
* Director of Outreach
* Director of Development, Northwest Regional Office
* Director of Strategic Technology
Contact Michael Garrity, Conservation Associate, at 202-347-7550.
Legislative information is obtained from sources including:
Environment and Energy Daily, Greenwire, Congressional Green Sheets,
and members of the American Rivers conservation staff.
Thank you robertrice at juno_com for helping to protect and
restore America's rivers.
To contact American Rivers, send an email to Rebecca
Sherman at outreach at amrivers_org or call 202-347-7550.
To update your information, please visit:
Encourage friends to become online river activists by visiting
www.americanrivers.org/takeaction. To become a member of American
Rivers, visit www.americanrivers.org/joindonate
Join the nation's online river community at www.americanrivers.org
for free online resources, toolkits, and ways to unite with other
activists on your important issues. AOL Keyword: American Rivers
To unsubscribe from this distribution list, reply to this
email (action at action_amrivers.org) and include "remove" in the subject