The Relief Report ®
501 Capitol Court, N.E.
After months of private negotiations with Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), John Chafee (R-RI), and Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID) introduced the Endangered Species Recovery Act (S. 1180) on September 16. The bill now appears to be on the fast track for Senate floor consideration, possibly as early as the first week of October. Only one hearing on the bill was scheduled before mark-up, sharply restricting the opportunity for public comment. As a result, there is a growing sense among property rights advocates that Senator Kempthorne is trying to push the bill through before anyone has a chance to find out what's in it.
What is known about S. 1180 isn't good: It would make few meaningful reforms to the Endangered Species Act while in some respects making the law worse. Specifically, the bill would:
Criticism of S. 1180 from major environmental organizations has been muted not only because the bill would reauthorize the Endangered Species Act without a significant overhaul, but would increase species conservation funding dramatically. Property rights groups such as the American Lands Right Association are urging grassroots activists to put pressure on Senator Kempthorne to abandon the bill as long as property rights are not included.
Consideration of the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act (H.R. 901), which was to take place on the floor of the House on September 25, is now unlikely until October 6. If approved, the bill would require congressional approval of all United Nations land designations such as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites on U.S. territory. The U.S. currently has 20 World Heritage Sites, 18 of which are national parks. Over 68% of the land in our national parks, preserves and monuments are designated as United Nations World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves or both. In the last Congress, the bill received 246 favorable votes, but failed to get a two-thirds majority vote. At last count, over 260 House members planned to vote for the bill. Supporters of the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act are urging grassroots activists to contact Congress.
Congressman Elton Gallegly's (R-CA) Private Property Rights Implementation Act (H.R. 1534) could be scheduled for a House floor vote within the next two weeks. Mark-up for the bill is scheduled for today. H.R. 1534 would streamline the process by which property owners get their day in court by limiting, among other things, the number of times property owners must go through government application and appeals processes before seeking redress in the courts. While the bill includes no compensation provision for property rights takings, it would be a step in the right direction as it would allow easier, less expensive access to the courts. Property rights advocates are urging calls to Capitol Hill in support of the bill over the next two weeks.
According to Wesleyan University economist Gary W. Yohe, stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 would slow U.S. Gross Domestic Product growth by close to one percent annually. Worse, it would change the distribution of income against the poor. Assuming a carbon tax of $260 per ton, the poorest fifth of Americans would lose 10% of their income while the other four-fifths of Americans would either lose a much smaller amount or experience small income gains. As blacks on average earn $19,722 and Hispanics $18,568 while whites earn $26,696, minorities would make up a disproportionate number of those hurt by a carbon tax. For more, contact The National Center for Public Policy Research @ 202/543-4110, or e-mail to [email protected].
·President's Interpretation of Environmental Justice Jeopardizes Minority Health and Safety. Quick-read, eight-page paper showing that the President's stands on nuclear waste storage, clean air standards and global warming are inconsistent with his Executive Order on environmental justice.
·Farmers to Bear Brunt of New Clean Air Standards. Quick-read, two-page paper outlining the negative consequences for farmers of the EPA's new, more stringent air quality standards. Published as an opinion/editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer and nine other newspapers.
Dossiers are succinct, one to two-page biographical sketches of some of the key figures and organizations in the environmental policy debate. Subjects of new releases include:
- Environmental Grantmakers Association
- Maurice Strong
For copies of any of the above, contact [email protected] or 202/543-4110 visit our website at www.nationalcenter.org.
All editorial correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to: The National Center for Public Policy Research * 501 Capitol Court, N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002 * (202) 543-4110 * Fax (202) 543-5975 * E-mail [email protected] * Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. Copyright 2000, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in the Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of material in the Relief Report permitted provided source is credited. To receive all National Center newsletters free by e-mail, visit http://www.nationalcenter.org or send an e-mail to: mailing [email protected].###
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