The Relief Report

A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 300 Eye Street NE #3, Washington, D.C. 20001, (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301.

Issue #25 * September 1, 1995 * David A. Ridenour, Editor

Hill Watch - Regulatory relief initiatives on Capitol Hill

Regulatory Reform Legislation Could Save "Baby Tuna:"

On August 4, Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) introduced legislation that could offer a reprieve for "baby tuna." In recent years, tuna fishermen have been forced to limit their fishing to waters without significant dolphin stocks. Since dolphins tend to swim with schools of large tuna, this means fishermen must fish in waters with concentrations of less mature tuna. The result: Many of the fish caught are too small and discard rates -- or the "bycatch" -- can be as high as 30%. Representative Cunningham's bill could help save these tuna by overturning the statutory definition of "dolphin safe" -- which is far too strict. Recent improvements in the survival rate of dolphins accidentally caught in nets -- now close to 100% -- has rendered the definition obsolete. "The eastern Pacific fleet could reach absolute zero marine mammal mortality rates and never be able to label their product 'dolphin safe,'" said Teresa Platt, co-director of the Fishermen's Coalition.

"Ironically, substituting other gear causing high levels of marine mammal kills would produce a product that could be labeled 'dolphin safe.'" Representative Cunningham's bill would also lift an embargo against tuna caught by fishermen in the eastern tropical Pacific in recognition of their near perfect dolphin survival rate. For more information, media may contact Teresa Platt of the Fishermen's Coalition at (619)575-4664.

Action Items - What you can do to promote the regulatory relief agenda

Coalition Urges Support of "Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation Incentive Act of 1995:"

With the introduction of Senate and House Endangered Species Act reauthorization bills expected as early as next week, the Grassroots ESA Coalition, an alliance of more than 400 grassroots wise-use and property rights groups, is urging its members and other grassroots activists to telephone and fax their elected representatives in support of the "Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation Incentive Act of 1995." The ESRCIA offers a non-regulatory, incentive-based approach to species conservation. "Any new legislative proposal must not simply nibble around the edge of the ESA, but instead make major changes," says the Grassroots ESA Coalition. "The choice is between turning 20 million landowners into allies of species... or having a 100,000 bureaucratic regulators spewing red tape in your backyard to enforce heavy-handed regulations that fail. For more information, media may contact Chuck Cushman at (360)687-3087.

Fishermen's Group Seeks Calls, Letters in Support of H.R. 2179:

Teresa Platt, co-director of the Fishermen's Coalition, is urging grassroots activists to call and write their representatives in support of H.R. 2179. Media may call Teresa at (619)575-4664 or Bud Walsh at (202)508-6600.

Senate Opponents of Regulatory Reform Should Pay a Price, Relief Advocates Say:

Grassroots heat should be turned up on Senators who derailed regulatory reform initiatives prior to recess, regulatory relief advocates say. Forty-two Senators couldn't even bring themselves to vote for cloture on Senator Dole's now-emasculated regulatory reform bill -- the Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act of 1995 (S. 343). Senators relief advocates say should feel the most heat: Charles Robb (D-VA), 202/224-4024; Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), 202/224-6472; Wendell Ford (D-KY), 202/224-4343; and Max Baucus (D-MT), 202/224-2651.

Administration Watch - Where the Administration stands on regulatory relief

Administration's Regulation of Tobacco Designed to Undercut Regulatory Reform:

On August 10, President Clinton announced his intention to impose significant new regulations on tobacco -- including an outright ban of vending machine sales and strict limits on tobacco advertising in publications with a youth readership of 15% or more -- if Congress did not act on its own to impose the regulations. The President's decision to issue a challenge to Congress, coupled with his insistence that the proposed regulations are needed to protect children from "the deadly temptation of tobacco and its skillful marketing" suggests a political motive -- an attempt to undercut congressional regulatory reform efforts. The President may see in tobacco yet another opportunity to paint the entire regulatory reform effort as uncaring, unfeeling and anti-child. If the President can convince the public that these new regulations are "pro-child," then those who oppose them -- regulatory reformists -- will be perceived as "anti-child." But teen smoking is not the problem the Administration makes it out to be: The number of smokers aged 12-17 declined from 25% in 1974 to 10% in 1993. Even if it were, the last thing the Food and Drug Administration needs is additional responsibilities: The time it takes to develop a new drug and gain the FDA's approval has risen from an average of 8.1 years in the 1960s to 14.5 years today.

Victims' Corner - Stories of personal tragedy or government folly

Regulation Places Higher Value on Snakes Than Children, Says Species Protection Victim:

Marvin "Buzz" Oates, owner of Buzz Oates Enterprises in Sacramento, California is being required to pay a $2,065 mitigation fee for every acre of his property he develops. The reason? The Sutter Basin property is home to the Giant Garter Snake. Oates has calculated that he will have to pay $3,758,000 to develop his 1,820 acres -- equal to $93,950 for every Giant Garter on his land. "In a fiscal age of depleted resources and depreciating school infrastructure, this is a very tough pill to swallow," wrote Oates in a memorandum to Sacramento city officials. "Dilapidated schools, lack of textbooks and materials and school safety are all real issues that school administrators and America's families are forced to contend with. Our children and future leaders are directly competing with snakes and the snakes are winning."

All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to:

The National Center for Public Policy Research * 20 F Street, NW #700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel. (202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301 * E-mail [email protected]

©1995, 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. Excerpts may be reprinted provided that original source is credited.

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