A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975.
Issue #28 * October 6, 1995 * David A. Ridenour, Editor
Young Seeks Transfer of Tongass National Forest to People Who Can Care for it Best
On September 28, Representative Don Young (R-AK), Chairman of the House Resources Committee, introduced the Tongass Transfer and Transition Act (H.R. 2413), to permit the transfer of the 17 million acre Tongass National Forest to the State of Alaska. Under the measure, Alaska's legislature and the Governor could elect to take over the Tongass, transferring control of this vital natural resources from the hands of remote, unresponsive federal bureaucrats into the hands of people who know how to care for the land best -- Alaskans. "Since Statehood, few have been happy with federal Tongass decisions. I've heard from tourism operators who wait three years to get access permits in the Tongass. Fishermen complain that existing protection for fisheries are not enforced. Crabbers can't even store their crab pots on the beaches. Cabin permits become federal issues when simple improvements are made," Representative Young said. Public opinion in Alaska favors the transfer. A September McDowell Group public opinion survey found that 55% of Southeast Alaskans favor Tongass transfer while only 34% that oppose it. For more information, contact Jen Wise at (202)225-5765.
Shadegg Introduces Non-Regulatory, Incentive-Based Species Protection Plan
On September 19, Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ) introduced the Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation Incentive Act of 1995 (H.R. 2364), a non-regulatory approach to species protection, with nine original cosponsors. Among the sponsors are Representatives Tom DeLay (R-TX), Joe Barton (R-TX), Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), John Doolittle (R-CA), Steve Largent (R-OK), David McIntosh (R-IN), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Bob Stump (R-AZ) and George Radanovich (R-CA). The measure would offer a number of incentives for landowners to promote private conservation efforts, including tax credits and estate tax deferrals for those who contribute to species conservation. The bill would also impose stiffer penalties on those who deliberately kill or injure endangered and threatened species. The non-regulatory nature of the Shadegg approach would end the adversarial relationship that currently exists between landowners and wildlife. In so doing, it would eliminate the perverse incentives found in the current law that result in habitat destruction. The measure's incentives would be funded primarily through admission fees to national parks and other federal lands where fees are already charged. An analysis of the bill has been published by Defenders of Property Rights. The group has also published an analysis of the Endangered Species Conservation and Management Act (H.R. 2275) sponsored by Representative Don Young (R-AK) and Richard Pombo (R-CA). Contact Defenders of Property Rights at (202)686-4197.
Will Senator Dole's Regulatory Reform Bill be Resurrected?
Senator Charles Robb (D-VA) is spearheading an effort to resurrect S. 343, the comprehensive regulatory reform measure introduced by Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS). Apparently some Democrat lawmakers are concerned that they may be blamed for killing chances for regulatory reform in the 104th Congress, so Senator Robb has been shopping his version of the Dole bill around to Democrat offices. The business and industry coalition group Alliance for Reasonable Regulations reportedly backs the plan while environmental groups such as the Sierra Club oppose it. Prospects for meaningful regulatory reform remain slight. In July, Senator Dole pulled S. 343 from the floor after he failed to obtain the 60 votes needed to shut off debate on the legislation for the third time in less than a week. The vote was 58-40, with four Democrats joining 54 Republicans in voting to end debate. The recent departure of Senator Robert Packwood (R-OR) means three more votes must be found if a regulatory reform package is to be approved. Further details on the Robb proposal will be included in the next edition of the Relief Report.
Vote on McIntosh's Regulatory "Sunset" Bill Likely Within Next Two Weeks
The full House could vote on the Regulatory Sunset and Review Act (H.R. 994), sponsored by Representative David McIntosh (R-IN), as early as next week. The measure would require federal regulations to review all existing regulations having an economic impact of $100 million or more every seven years. Those regulations that agencies do not review would be automatically rescinded under the proposal. A similar measure (S. 511) , has been sponsored by Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI).
Order ESA Postcards Now
According to the Grassroots ESA Coalition, an alliance of hundreds of grassroots property rights and wise-use groups, meaningful reform of the Endangered Species Act this year will slip away unless regulatory relief advocates act now. The coalition is urging grassroots activists to order copies of reform bills from Members of Congress, including copies of Representative John Shadegg's H.R. 2364, to underscore the importance of reform this year. To this end, the Grassroots ESA Coalition has prepared postcard bill order forms. To find out how to obtain these postcards, contact the Coalition at (360)687-2505.
Keep Thanking Champions of Regulatory Relief, Advocates Say
Regulatory reform advocates are urging grassroots activists to continue offering words of encouragement and thanks to Members of Congress who have championed the cause of regulatory relief. This week, they suggest, the following members should be thanked (all 202 area code): John Ensign (R-NV), 225-5965; Zach Wamp (R-TN), 225-3271; Van Hilleary (R-TN), 225-6831; Gil Gutknecht (R-MN), 225-2472; and Jon Christensen (R-NE), 225-4155.
Property Rights Conference to be Held in Belly of the Beast -- New York
The Property Rights Foundation of America will hold the first ever property rights conference in Albany, New York on October 14. The conference will include both local and national spokesmen on private property rights, including Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), Bill Moshofsky of Oregonians in Action, and Roger Pilon of the CATO Institute. The cost for the conference is $35. Contact Carol LaGrasse at (518)696-5748.
"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"
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©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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