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NFC: Fw: Audubon Advisory 3/8



--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "audubonaction at audubon_org" <test at democracydata_com>
To: "robertrice at juno_com" <robertrice at juno_com>
Date: 8 Mar 2002 17:24:51 -0500
Subject: Audubon Advisory 3/8
Message-ID: <20020308172132.F2389D60.DF4916E5 at 10_20.2.230>

AUDUBON ADVISORY
Audubon's Twice-Monthly Update From Washington, D.C.
March 8, 2002
(Vol. 2002, Issue 5)

ARCTIC VOTE LOOMS LARGE IN SENATE
        On Tuesday, March 5, the U.S. Senate began its debate on the
energy bill - 
sweeping legislation that will likely include a vote on whether to open
the Arctic 
National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.  Exactly when they will take up
the 
drilling issue is still up in the air.  It had been widely reported that
the 
Senate would vote on drilling in the Arctic Refuge as soon as the energy
bill hit 
the Senate floor, but that  has not been the case.  Now it's likely they
will not 
take it up until the end of the energy debate - which could be a week or
two away.
        As you know, the House has already passed a measure opening the
Refuge to 
oil drilling, and the President fully supports drilling as well. It's up
to the 
Senate to protect the Refuge.  
        The Arctic Refuge, including its coastal plain - where they look
to drill - 
has extraordinary value as an intact ecosystem, with all its native
birdlife.  
Millions of birds nest, migrate through, or spend the winter in the
Refuge.  Their 
migrations take them to each of the 50 states, and they cross great
oceans and 
follow distant coastlines to reach the lands and waters of six
continents.  
Keeping this Refuge intact is critical for the survival of these birds.  
        For over a year, we have been writing on this issue, and
encouraging our 
readers to take action and help protect the Arctic Refuge from oil
drilling.  And 
now the debate is heating up to unprecedented levels in the media, from
special 
interests in Washington, D.C. and across the country.  As we have
reported 
previously, pro-drilling special interests are using their political
influence and 
power to pressure Senators into supporting opening the Refuge to
drilling.  They 
erroneously claim that opening the Refuge to oil drilling will help
reduce our 
reliance on oil from the Middle East.  This is simply not the case!  Once
again, 
here are the facts: 

1.) Experts agree that drilling for oil in the Arctic Refuge will do
little or 
nothing to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, nor will it address
America's 
long-term energy needs. There is only a 6 month supply of oil, and even
oil 
industry officials admit that oil wouldn't be available for 10 years.
Even with 
the most optimistic estimates of Arctic Refuge oil added to the oil
fields off our 
coasts and everywhere else in the U.S., we still have only 3 to 4% of the
world's 
oil reserves. 

2.) We consume at least 25% of the world's production of oil. At our
current rate 
of consumption, we will go from importing 56% to well over 60% of our oil
in 
coming decades - even including Arctic Refuge oil! 

3.) One out of every eight barrels of oil our nation imports comes form
the Middle 
East. We get the bulk of our oil from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and here
in the 
United States. And we can get more oil from our existing oil fields.
Utilizing new 
technologies, we can recover 6 billion barrels from fields in New Mexico,
and 
another 60 billion barrels from fields in Texas and Oklahoma. 

4.) There is another place where we can "drill" for oil and find far more
than we 
will ever get in the Arctic Refuge - Detroit. By increasing fuel
efficiency in 
cars and light trucks by just a few miles per gallon, we can replace all
the oil 
we import from the Middle East. That will create jobs, and help free our
nation 
from the influence of foreign oil. Keep in mind the U.S. House voted
against this 
proposal when it passed its energy bill in August. 

        The only way to declare independence from foreign oil powers is
to 
dramatically reduce our dependence on oil. We can reduce our reliance on
foreign 
oil and secure our energy future by using American's technological
know-how to 
develop newer, cleaner sources of energy.   We hope the U.S. Senate will
spend a 
good portion of their debate focused on those issue.  In the meantime, we
need to 
keep the pressure on!  Please continue contacting your U.S. Senators and
urge them 
to oppose any and all efforts to open the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas
drilling.  
To get more information, hear our latest Arctic radio ads and view a list
of key 
Senators who will cast the deciding votes on this issue, please visit our
Protect 
the Arctic website at http://www.protectthearctic.com. 

A Quick Look At Other Issues
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
NO ACTION FROM CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON THE FARM BILL: 
        The House-Senate Conference Committee working on the farm bill
has not yet 
come up with a final proposal.  It's likely they'll do so in the coming
weeks.  As 
you know, Audubon supports the Senate-passed version, which includes
significant 
increases in funding for various conservation programs.  This gives us a
chance to 
protect birds, wildlife and their habitat on private lands. 
        These programs include the Wetlands Reserve Program, conservation
Reserve 
Program, the Farmland Protection Program (FPP), the Wildlife Habitat
Incentives 
Program (WHIP), and the newly proposed Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP)  
Audubon 
continues to work to convince both House & Senate conferees to accept the
Senate-
passed version of the conservation title.  
        You can help ensure they do! Please call your lawmakers and urge
them and 
their colleagues on the Conference Committee to support the Senate-passed
levels 
of conservation funding and the Senate-passed language for the Grasslands
Reserve 
Program and Wetlands Reserve Program in conference.  For more
information, or for 
the names of the lawmakers on the Conference Committee who will be making
these 
critical determinations, please goto: 
http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/contact/default.asp?subject=46

MORE LETTERS ARE NEEDED TO SAVE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS: 
        There is still time to weigh in with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture and 
help prevent the agency from initiating a program to kill by poison 2
million 
blackbirds per year!   The poisoning threatens to kill numerous other
birds 
including the steeply declining populations of grassland songbirds. The
Department 
is conducting the blackbird poisoning in an effort to reduce sunflower
crop damage 
in the Northern plains.  To learn more and to take action today, goto: 
http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/contact/default.asp?Subject=41 

STILL NO WORD YET ON FATE OF UNFPA: 
        For the fourth week, still no news from the White House on
whether the Bush 
Administration will zero out the U.S. $34 million contribution to the
UNFPA - the 
agency responsible for providing educational information, contraceptive
devices 
and medical training for family planning programs.  International family
planning 
improves the ability of people to manage their lives and their natural
resources 
in a more sustainable way, which in turn helps protect birds and their
habitat.  
To find out more and to take action today, goto: 
http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/registration.asp?subject=37

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD: 
        Audubon continues its effort to ensure your seafood choices
include 
swordfish, shrimp, scallops, and yellowfin tuna. But these and 102 other
species 
of marine fish are overfished - being caught and killed faster than they
can 
reproduce. The U.S. Congress has an opportunity to help restore and
conserve 
overfished marine species by passing the Fisheries Recovery Act - and you
can help 
convince them to do so! For more information, or to find out how you can
help, 
goto: 
http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/contact/default.asp?subject=39 . 

PLEASE HELP RESTORE THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER: 
        As you know, a great river is in crisis. The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers 
was forced to suspend its ten-year, $50 million study of Upper
Mississippi River 
construction projects due to serious flaws with its economic and
environmental 
analyses.  In the new plan, the Corps has said it wants to involve other
agencies, 
nonprofit organizations and the general public in a "collaborative
process" to 
develop a comprehensive management plan that includes flood control,
navigation 
and ecosystem needs in a balanced approach.  We hope you'll participate!
Click 
this link to learn more and take action today: 
http://www.capitolconnect.com/audubon/contact/default.asp?subject=42

AUDUBON APPLAUDS BIPARTISAN CORPS REFORM BILL
        On Wednesday, March 6, Audubon today lauded bipartisan
legislation that 
would protect the environment by reshaping the work of the U.S. Army
Corps of 
Engineers.  The measure, introduced by Senators Robert Smith (R-NH), Russ
Feingold 
(D-WI), and John McCain (R-AZ) aims to ensure that water resource
projects 
undertaken by the Corps are based on sound economic and environmental
principles. 
Many Corps projects have proven to be destructive to the environment
while 
providing few actual benefits to the general public. "Billions of federal
taxpayer 
dollars have been spent on questionable projects that destroy America's
wetlands 
and degrade our rivers and coastal areas," said Lois Schiffer, Audubon's
senior 
vice president for public policy. "It's time to put the brakes on the
senseless 
destruction of aquatic wildlife habitat."
        The Corps of Engineers Modernization and Improvement Act of 2002
would 
create an independent peer review process to examine high-impact projects
such as 
dams and levees, assessing their fiscal and environmental impacts. The
legislation 
also: 
      directs the Corps to reassess its current projects and avoid
future 
ventures without clear financial benefits, 
      calls on the Corps to show an economic benefit of $1.50 for every
dollar it 
spends on a project, an increase from the current 1:1 ratio, 
      bars the Corps from including any economic benefits derived from
the 
destruction of wetlands as it calculates a project's value, and 
      requires local boosters of Corps-managed projects to pay a larger
share of 
the projects' costs. 
Stay tuned for more information on this legislation as it moves through
the 
legislative process!

CLEAN WATER NETWORK ANNOUNCES CLEAN WATER PROCLAMATION CAMPAIGN - SIGN UP
TO 
PARTICIPATE TODAY!
        This year signifies the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. 
 Audubon, 
as a member of the Clean Water Network, is helping to launch a special
component 
of the Network's overall anniversary effort: the City Clean Water
Proclamation 
Campaign.
        The campaign's goals are  to empower organizations, communities
and local 
governments to use the Clean Water Act to protect our precious waters and
to 
revitalize them as you rejuvenate your neighborhood.  This may be the
project your 
Chapter is looking for to help protect precious wetlands and other bird
habitats 
in your community!  We look to engage 100 cities nationwide to take a
public stand 
for clean water by signing onto a clean water proclamation, and making
specific 
commitments to achieve clean water. The proclamation will put your city
or local 
government on record as supporting clean water. It will also give Audubon
a 
positive, proactive opportunity to work with local governments to
recommit to the 
Clean Water Act on its 30th anniversary. 
        Getting involved in this important effort is easy!  All you have
to do is 
ask your city council or local government to flesh out its commitment by
declaring 
actions it will take to prove their clean water promise is real. On
September 18, 
2002, we will hold a series of press events across the country with our
local 
governments announcing the proclamation,  the designation of October 18
as Clean 
Water Act Day, and  the city's new clean water goals. And the Network is
available 
to help every step of the way!  To get started:   
        1.) Visit the Network's web site at 
www.cwn.org/docs/30thanniversary/city_clean_water_proclamation_ca.htm for
a sample 
proclamation and ways you can use the proclamation to work with your city
council 
or local government to recommit to the goals of the Clean Water Act.
        2.) Contact Ami Grace at: cleanwaternet at igc_org or 202-289-2421
if you would 
like to take part in the campaign. You can also e-mail the Network from
the web 
link above. We will make sure Network members within the same state are 
coordinated. We will also be holding conference calls this spring to help
Network 
members share strategies and ideas. 
        3.) And finally, be sure to let us know by e-mailing us at 
audubonaction at audubon_org, so we can share what you're doing with other
Chapters 
throughout the country!
        We hope you'll join this multi-organizational effort and get your
city to 
commit to releasing the proclamation and to identify what proactive clean
water 
goal it will be committing to by July.  And keep checking the network's
website 
for more information and materials in preparation for the press event on
September 
18th!

Audubon Advisory
Audubon Public Policy Division
1901 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. 
Suite 1100
Washington, D.C.  20006
(202) 861-2242