Bonner Cohen of EPA Watch reviewed the unanimous vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Delaney Clause, a cancer-safety standard made archaic by technological developments. The new standard requires "a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure." The problem, Cohen said, is that the Congress left it up to the EPA to define "reasonable certainty," "harm," and "aggregate exposure." "The Congress has given EPA a tremendous blank check here," said Cohen, who noted that the legislation does not require the EPA to use peer review or solicit any other outside input into their deliberation processes. This creates, he said, an "opportunity for innumerable lawsuits from environmental groups. Cohen and David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research explained that Congress made a political deal, trading the Delaney Clause for widely-expanded EPA powers. Both said the deal was unnecessary because neither side wanted to keep the scientifically-outmoded Delaney Clause as, had it stayed in effect, it soon would have required the banning of 80 widely-used pesticides and caused havoc in farm states. "This was a fool's bargain and in a year or so will have to be revised again," said Cohen. "We got suckered, and we are going to rue the day we ever signed on to this." Contact Bonner Cohen at 202/739-0179 or David Ridenour at 202/543-4110.
Brian Seacholes of the Competitive Enterprise Institute reviewed the results of a CEI poll conducted from June 29-July 2 to determine national attitudes toward environmental policy. The poll showed that when people told an environmental proposal was Republican, they didn't like it, but when they were asked about the same proposal without the GOP label being attached, they liked it. The poll also found increased support for non-regulatory approaches to environmental issues as contrasted with a CEI poll (and others) taken a year ago. There were other findings. CEI has published the results of its poll in a 25-page paper and copies are available. Contact Brian Seascholes or Jonathan Adler at 202/331-1010 or send e-mail to [email protected]
Brian Seascholes of the Competitive Enterprise Institute announced that CEI has just produced an environmental briefing book for candidates consisting of one-page summaries on key issues and hypothetical questions and answers. Contact Brian Seascholes at 202/331-1010.
Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom led a discussion about the parks and lands bill containing "Christmas tree" funding for the Presidio in California. The bill, Ebell said, is being pushed by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, all Democrats from California, and it requests more than three times the amount of money it takes to run Yellowstone to run the Presidio. The plan, Ebell said, is to help environmental groups and other organizations, such as the Gorbachev Foundation, which are being given office space in the Presidio. Contact Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282.
Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom continued a discussion about the parks and lands bill, saying that the much-discussed Heritage Areas bill was put into it without any of the property rights protections property rights supporters had been promised. Ebell also reported that the bill is presently being held up because Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) "found something conservative in it" (provisions overturning some of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's grazing policies) and Speaker Newt Gingrich had demanded that Boehlert's concerns be addressed by having the grazing provisions deleted. Contact Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282.
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research discussed the fate of the Property Rights bill in the Senate, which is that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has decided not to schedule a vote on the bill unless there are 53 votes committed to voting for it. Some GOP Senators, including Senators Bob Smith (NH) and Fred Thompson (TN) are not committed to the bill, Ridenour said. Property rights supporters have generated over 1,000 telephone calls to Lott office asking the Majority Leader to schedule a vote, thanks, Ridenour said, to the urgings of Chuck Cushman of the American Land Rights Association and talk show hosts Michael Reagan, Jane Chastain, and others. Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom said that, in the past, ever time a property rights bill comes up in the Senate, more Senators vote for it than had been predicted. He also said that it is important to property rights supporters to know who is for the bill and who is not, so it is better from their perspective to have a vote on the bill and lose than to have no vote at all. Contact David Ridenour at 202/543-4110 or Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282.
Bonner Cohen of EPA Watch announced that his new book on environmental issues has just been published by the Environmental Policy Analysis Network. Contact Bonner Cohen at 202/739-0179.
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research reported to participants about the property rights rally in San Diego before the Republican National Convention. The rally received, he said, great press as property rights advocates brought 15 tractors to the rally and drove them through San Diego. Contact David Ridenour at 202/543-4110.