John Shanahan of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution distributed copies of his new paper "Congressional Review: Why It Exists and How to Make It Work." Congressional Review is a new law giving Congress the opportunity to reject new federal regulations. Accordingly, it requires that federal agencies report new regulations to Congress and to the General Accounting Office, but several agencies have refused to comply, including the cabinet departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Transportation. The EPA also ignored the new law while proposing the new clean air standards. Shanahan discussed the value of the new law in making the federal government accountable, but said that the administration's willingness to violate the law, combined with the fact that "this Congress does not have any spine whatsoever," constitutes a severe threat to the law's value. Contact John Shanahan at 703/351-4969 or [email protected] (http://www.schoolreport.com/AdTI).
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research and Bonner Cohen of EPA Watch discussed the February meeting of the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA). The EGA, an umbrella of several hundred foundation and corporate givers to the environmental movement, held a top-secret closed-door meeting February 3-4 to help set the agenda of the environmental movement. The left-wing magazine Mother Jones describes the importance of these meetings this way: "By deciding which organizations get money, the grant-makers help set the agenda of the environmental movement and influence the programs and strategies that activists carry out." Though these meetings are normally held under cloak of secrecy, Ridenour and Cohen said, some EGA participants believe the public should be told what is going on in EGA meetings, especially as the EGA is a tax-exempt group. Accordingly, notes taken at the meeting were shared with others so that the public could be informed of the thinking of the leadership of the billion dollar plus liberal environmental movement. The meeting notes are interesting not only for the environmental movement's strategic analyses and complaints made by EPA Administrator Carol Browner, said Ridenour and Cohen, but also for the in some ways surprising comments made by participants about House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, and House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich. Copies of the notes are available from Ridenour and Cohen or at http://www.nationalcenter.org/EGAMeetingNotes.html. Contact David Ridenour at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected] and Bonner Cohen at 202/739-0179.
John Rishel of the House Resources Committee staff discussed H.R. 901, Rep. Don Young (R-AK)'s American Land Sovereignty Act, which would require that the U.S. Congress give permission before the UN can assert authority over lands in the U.S. A current list of the bill's co-sponsors is available at http://www.house.gov/resources/. Contact John Rishel at 202/226-0242.
Chuck Cushman of the American Land Rights Association delivered a presentation on Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK)'s Recreation "Super Bill" proposal. Most of the proposals in the bill, Cushman said, are good, however, he expressed concern that the bill contains the potential for a billion dollar government land acquisition trust fund. Asked why the federal government is getting involved in recreation, Cushman replied that "recreation" is used as a cover for many giant government programs. Cushman distributed information. Contact Chuck Cushman at 360/687-3087 or [email protected].
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research distributed an internal EPA memo describing a planned reorganization of the agency to include an office of Children's Health Protection. The Clinton Administration has long stressed internally that the best way to sell new federal programs to a tax-weary public is to market them as benefitting children. Contact David Ridenour at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected].
Brian Seasholes of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom discussed the Kempthorne-Chafee Endangered Species Act [ESA] six-year reauthorization bill, which Kempthorne is now planing to introduce March 17. Kempthorne will not commit, Seasholes said, to including compensation to private property owners for losses due to the ESA. "Don't let [Senator Kempthorne] tell you this bill is going to fix problems [with the ESA]," said Seasholes. "It simply isn't... This bill really has nothing [to protect] small landowners." Added Ebell: "A lot of the Kempthorne bill puts into law what [Interior Secretary Bruce] Babbitt has done administratively." Contact Brian Seasholes at 202/331-1010 or [email protected] (http://www.cei.org) and Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282 or [email protected] (http://www.ff.org).
David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research distributed copies of two papers published by the National Center for Policy Analysis, "New Environmentalism," by Lynn Scarlett, and "An Environmental Report Card on the 104th Congress" by Sterling Burnett. "New Environmentalism," Ridenour said, suggests a new environmental covenant through which competing principles we all support -- environmental protection and individual rights -- can be balanced. The "Environmental Report Card" discusses the pros and cons of major legislation passed and proposed by the 104th Congress. Contact Lynn Scarlett at 310/391-2245 or [email protected] or Sterling Burnett at 972/386-6272 or [email protected] (http://www.ncpa.org).
Author James V. DeLong discussed his new book "Property Matters: How Property Rights are Under Assault -- And Why You Should Care" (Free Press 1997). Said DeLong: "The trouble with writing a book on property rights is an embarrassment of riches. There are so many stories [of government abuses of private property rights] out there, people can't believe how many there are." The book contains many of these stories, he said, but also is designed to be useful to advocates of political reform. Contact James DeLong at 202/338-0556.
David Almasi of Defenders of Property Rights discussed the
new book "Property Rights: Understanding Government Takings
and Environmental Regulation" (Government Institutes Press,
1997) by Nancie and Roger Marzulla. The book analyses current
laws and past court decisions to explain the problems faced by
homeowners and other small landowners who find their constitutional
right to make productive use of their own property at risk, and
suggests what landowners can do to protect their rights. Contact
David Almasi or author Nancie Marzulla at 202/686-4197 or the
publisher at 301/921-2355 or [email protected]
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. Copyright 1997 The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of articles in Scoop permitted provided source is credited. ###
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