Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of the Conservative Movement in Washington
Issue 114 * December 15, 1995
The National Center for Public Policy Research Amy Moritz, President 300 Eye Street N.E. Suite 3 * Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110 * Fax (202) 543-5975 E-Mail: [email protected]
Attorney Alma Upicksoun, Inupiat Eskimo, and Alan Mintz of the Artic Slope Regional Corporation reviewed the debate over whether the federal government should authorize oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The issue is being debated as part of the federal FY 1996 budget negotiations, so, as Mintz put it, "We are now one of the pawns in the big game." Upicksoun reports that allowing oil production in ANWR is "vital for programs to assist Native Residents in remote villages improve their living conditions, educate their children and care for the elderly" and said "the economy of the north slope is very dependent on oil." Opening ANWR to oil production is expected to create up to 735,000 new jobs in 50 states (Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates estimate) and reduce the federal deficit by 1.3 billion over the next few years. Upicksoun also discussed environmental aspects, discussing why caribou herds and other wildlife should be unharmed by the drilling, and polls showing that 60% of the American people support drilling in ANWR. The Wilderness Society, an environmental group, has done a poll showing the American people opposing opening ANWR, Mintz said, but their pollster has refused to release the wording of the questions used in that poll. Upicksoun and Mintz have available their full poll, succinct background materials, press clips and a full-color 40-page booklet with maps, graphs and other information about the ANWR area. Contact Alma Upicksoun and Alan Mintz at 202/298-1942 or 907/852-8533.
Dr. Fred Singer of the Science and Environmental Policy Project discussed the science and the politics of the ozone issue, reporting that the U.S. government's existing policy is to phase out CFC production by the end of this year. As a result, he said, illegal smuggling and the price have gone up ($8/lb to $1/lb). Singer, a physicist, reported that there have been "vicious and mean attacks" by environmentalists on House Majority Whip Tom DeLay and Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), as they want to phase out the CFC ban. Singer then explained scientifically why DeLay and Doolittle are "essentially correct." Singer also said corporations oppose phase out as there is big money in CFC substitutes. Contact Dr. Singer at 703/934-6940.
Bonner Cohen of EPA Watch reported December 8 that, in his estimation, the Environmental Protection Agency's budget will be cut by 5-9% in the FY 1996 budget. Sources in the EPA tell him, he said, that the EPA budget is so bloated now that a 9% budget cut can be absorbed without anyone outside the EPA even noticing. Contact Bonner Cohen at 703/968-9768.
Myron Ebell of Frontiers for Freedom reported on H.R. 1280 and S. 1110, bills favoring development of national Heritage Areas. The bills are opposed by grassroots property rights advocates, Ebell said, because the Park Service would be put in charge and property owners near parks have told many horror stories. Ebell finds it curious that Heritage Areas are supported by the GOP because, he said, Heritage Areas are basically federal grants to local planners to interfere with local communities' planning decisions. Ebell and R.J. Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute will testify against the plan at a Congressional hearing, he said. Contact Myron Ebell at 301/322-6157 and R.J. Smith at 202/331-1010.
Myron Ebell of Frontiers for Freedom, Brian Seascholes & R.J. Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Jim Streeter of the National Wilderness Institute, John Shanahan of the Heritage Foundation & David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research reviewed progress on Endangered Species Act reform. Ebell reported that Speaker Newt Gingrich wants to appoint yet another Task Force to examine EPA reform, as the Speaker dislikes both the Young-Pombo and Shadegg plans. Seacholes reviewed examples of private actions undertaken to protect endangered species without government help, noting, for example, that private efforts undertaken in the past to save Wood Ducks and Bluebirds are impossible now due to federal laws. Seacholes distributed several articles on this by CEI staff. Contact Myron Ebell at 301/322-6157, Brian Seacholes and R.J. Smith at 202/331-1010, Jim Streeter at 703/836-7404, John Shanahan at 202/546-4400 and The National Center at 202/543-4110.
Jim Sheehan of the Competitive Enterprise Institute distributed his new report "Two Years After NAFTA: A Free Market Critique and Assessment," published by CEI. Sheehan, who opposed ratification of NATFA, reported on U.S. taxpayers' money going to Mexico through the North American Development Bank & said the U.S. is imposing regulations on Mexico which hurt job creation there. Contact Jim Sheehan at 202/331-1010.
Kathryn McMichael of the National School Board Association demonstrated a video and multi-color wheel being produced by the EPA and distributed by the National Education Association as part of an "Indoor Air Quality: Tools for Schools" campaign to schools to help school officials determine such things as whether or not there are odors in the air and how to go up to a school's roof. Contact Kathryn McMichael at 703/838-6782.
John Shanahan of The Heritage Foundation distributed Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum #432, "Time to Permit Oil Drilling in the Arctic Refuge." "Superfund Reform: Pro-Environment, Pro-Public Health" was distributed on behalf of Christy Carson of the House Republican Conference Committee. John Berlau of Consumer Alert announced a "National Consumer's Week" conference featuring a speaker formerly associated with Consumer's Union/Consumer's Reports who will criticize CU/CR testing methods. Contact John Shanahan at 202/546-4400, Christy Carson at 202/225-5107, John Berlau at 202/467-5809.
Rep. Jack Metcalf (R-WA) is leading a campaign to urge budget negotiators to save at least 50% of the $135 billion made available by the CBO's newest economic forecast to reduce the deficit. As Metcalf says in a "Dear Colleague" letter urging Members to sign a "statement of principle" that only half the new money should be spent: "The CBO has revised its economic forecast and identified $135 billion of additional funding... But this is still borrowed money. These funds are derived from downward projections of deficit spending. As a result, spending this money will add to the costs of interest payments which will compound annually." Contact Rep. Metcalf's office at 202/225-2605.
Scoop is published by The National Center for Public Policy Research to provide information about the activities of the conservative movement. Coverage of a meeting or statement in Scoop does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. © 1995 The National Center for Public Policy Research.
©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.