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, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org/.
Issue #45 * August 2,1996 * David A. Ridenour, Editor
Waffles Delivered to Lott for Waffling on Private Property Rights Bill
Thirty boxes of waffles were delivered to Senator Majority Leader Trent Lott's office on July 30 with many more on the way by mail courtesy of the American Land Rights Association (ALRA). "Because one good waffle deserves another, we're urging thousands of grassroots property rights activists to send waffles to the Senate Majority Leader," said ALRA Chairman Chuck Cushman. The ALRA has called on grassroots activists to send boxes, packages and even individual waffles to Senator Lott to protest his waffling on the Omnibus Property Rights Act (S. 1954). The bill was supposed to be considered by the full Senate on July 25 but was taken off the Senate calendar by Lott to appease several Republican Senators who want the vote put off until after the elections. One of these Senators is said to be Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) who is facing a tough re-election bid. Senator Lott's decision to take these Senators' advice is puzzling given that the most recent poll on property rights -- taken by The Polling Company for the Competitive Enterprise Institute -- found that 64% of the public supports compensation to property owners when environmental regulations prevent them from using their property. The ALRA believes that a vote on S. 1954 -- which would provide compensation to landowners when the value of their property is diminished by 50% or more -- is crucial to establish a record of who is for and who is against private property rights. "A vote is important not only because it establishes a record of who is for property owners and who is against them, but because it would establish that Trent Lott is a man of his word," said Cushman. For more information, contact the American Land Rights Association at 360/687-3087.
House and Senate Approve Delaney Clause "Mission Creep" Bill
Last week, the House and Senate unanimously approved the "Food Quality Protection Act" (H.R. 1627/S. 1116), a measure that replaces the Delaney Clause's antiquated zero risk cancer standard with a unified safety standard for raw and processed food. Though widely hailed as a major step toward regulatory common sense, the Food Quality Protection Act could ultimately prove more troublesome than the Delaney Clause because it permits EPA "mission creep." Under the provisions of the Act, a pesticide would be banned unless there is "reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue." Since the Delaney Clause only deals with cancer risks from pesticides, this language would permit EPA "mission creep," allowing the agency to choose from an infinite number of risks to rationalize banning a pesticide. Worse yet, H.R. 1627/S. 1116 would permit the EPA to determine what is meant by "reasonable," what constitutes "certainty," what is meant by "aggregate exposure" and what constitutes "no harm." Further, none of these determinations would be peer reviewed. Contact EPA Watch at 202/739-0179.
Senate Seeks to Sneak Through Trash Tax By Regulation.
By unanimous consent, the Senate inserted language in the 1997 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would impose flow control requirements for solid waste disposal. Flow control requirements permit regional authorities to set up government-run waste disposal monopolies. Because these monopolies raise the costs of waste disposal by an average of 40%, they amount to a hidden tax on consumers. A similar measure was defeated in the House earlier this year by a 2 to 1 margin. House conferees on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill (H.R. 3816) will have to reject the Senate language, however, to prevent the costly measure from going to the president's desk. Regulatory relief advocates have been urging grassroots activists to contact the conferees to remind them that these onerous regulations are opposed by a broad-based coalition of environmental, free market and business groups.
Property Rights Rally Scheduled for San Diego. The Riverside, San Diego and California Farm Bureaus along with property owners from all over the state of California will hold a "Tractorcade" and rally Monday, August 5 at the intersection of Palm and Pacific Coast Highway in San Diego (near the County Administration Building) to show continued public support for reform of the nation's environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act. The event -- to be held just one week before the GOP convention in San Diego -- will kick off at 9:45 A.M. with a "tractorcade" -- a procession of tractors -- and continue with a rally at 10:45 A.M. Up to one thousand people are expected to participate in the event. For more information, contact the Riverside County Farm Bureau at 909/684-6732 or the San Diego County Farm Bureau at 619/745-3023.
Don't show your support for the environment by trumpeting your support for a bill supported by the environmental movement. By trumpeting your support for a new wilderness area or new environmental mandate you not only show that you can be swayed by special interest pressure, but you lend greater credibility to the regulation lobby, strengthening this adversary for future battles.
Newt Gingrich's War on the West
It seems that Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt and House Speaker Newt Gingrich have something in common -- they have both been engaged in War on the West. In recent Congresses, Newt Gingrich has consistently voted for legislation that would have made life even more difficult for already struggling Western families. Here's just a sample:
He co-sponsored H.R. 341 during the last Congress, a bill offered by Gerry Studds (D-MA) that would not only have re-authorized the Endangered Species Act but strengthen it in ways that increase the potential for abuse.
He co-sponsored H.R. 987, a bill that established additional Wilderness Areas in the Tongass National Forest, making sustainable forestry uneconomic in this high unemployment area.
He voted for the Montana Wilderness Act (H.R. 2473), setting aside 1.6 million acres in Montana for Wilderness Areas.
"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"
All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to: The National Center for Public Policy Research * 501 Capitol Ct., N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002 * Tel. (202) 543-4110 * Fax (202)543-5975 * E-mail [email protected] * (C) 1996, 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. ###
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