02 Oct 1998 Relief Report: October 2, 1998
* National Security Would be Jeopardized by
Global Warming Treaty
* Environmentalists Lose Bid to Keep
Handicapped Out of State Forest
* Leveling the Playing Field: Postal Service to Live
Under Same OSHA Regulations as Competitors
*New Releases from The National Center for Public Policy Research
National Security Would be Jeopardized by Global Warming Treaty
U.S. national security could be imperiled if the Senate ratifies the global warming treaty negotiated by the Clinton Administration last December in Kyoto, Japan, according to a Brief Analysis released by the Dallas, Texas-based The Kyoto treaty would require the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and thus fossil fuel use by seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012 — a real cut of 30% if population and economic growth are factored in. The nation’s single largest user of fossil fuels is the federal government, with a full 73% of the government’s consumption attributable to the military. Although the Kyoto treaty exempts certain military actions from the Kyoto treaty’s fuel reduction regime, it only exempts multi-lateral operations under the United Nations banner. It would not exempt U.S. military engagements nor would it exempt training operations. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, a mere 10% reduction in fuel use by the U.S. Armed Forces would result in reduction of tank training by 328,000 miles per year, a cut in flight training and flying exercises by 210,000 hours per year and a reduction in steaming days (days on board ship for training and military exercises) by 2,000 days per year. Notes the National Center for Policy Analysis: “The DOD [Department of Defense] estimates these reductions would substantially hamper the military readiness of flight crews and tank crews… Flight crews would need an additional four to six weeks to deploy in response to a military crisis and tank crews would need an additional six weeks of training…” For more information, contact Sterling Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis at 972/386-6272.
Environmentalists Lose Bid to Keep Handicapped Out of State Forest
Earlier this summer, a number of disabled residents of New York state found out just how insensitive environmentalists can be to the needs of the handicapped. Under pressure from environmentalists, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) earlier this year moved to revoke permits it had issued to disabled citizens to use motorized vehicles in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and other state forests. The move would have effectively denied the handicapped access to these natural treasures. In July, handicapped residents fought back by suing the DEC, the Adirondack Park Agency and Governor George Pataki under the Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 28, the plaintiffs won the first round against environmentalists when Federal District Judge Lawrence Kahn issued a restraining order prohibiting the DEC from revoking the permits. For more information, contact Carol LaGrasse of the Property Rights Foundation of America at 518/696-5748.
Leveling the Playing Field: Postal Service to Live Under Same OSHA Regulations as Competitors
On Monday, September 28, President Clinton signed the Postal Employees Safety Enhancement Act (S. 2112) into law, leveling the playing field, if only a little bit, for the Postal Service’s private sector competitors. The law requires that the U.S. Postal Service begin complying with the same Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reporting requirements that such firms as Pitney Bowes, Federal Express and United Parcel Service have had to follow since OSHA was created in 1970. The law takes effect January 1, 1999. The Postal Service will also be subject to the same kind of fines and penalties for workplace safety violations that its competitors have been subject to. Although the Postal Service was converted to a quasi-public agency years ago, it continued to enjoy federal agency status under section 19 of OSHA, exempting it from many OSHA requirements. Last year, OSHA conducted close to 300 postal facility inspections, most resulting from employee complaints. With close to 857,000 employees, the number of inspections is likely to increase dramatically under the new law. So too will its compliance costs. Can calls for OSHA reform from the U.S. Postal Service be far behind?
New Releases from The National Center for Public Policy Research
* The Sierra Club and the Trial Lawyers: Two Peas in a Pod. National Policy Analysis #214 notes the similarities in goals and campaign expenditures between the Sierra Club’s and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Copies may be obtained on the web at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA214.html.
*Tainted Green: EPA Uses Enforcement as Partisan Political Weapon. National Policy Analysis #213 summarizes EPA abuses of power to advance political ends. Among the examples cited is the EPA’s recent suit against Smithfield Foods. Copies may be obtained on the web at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA213.html.
*The American Fisheries Act: Special Interest Politics at Its Worst. National Policy Analysis #209 shows how the American Fisheries Act (S. 1221) would harm both the environment and the economy. Copies may be obtained on the web at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA209.html.
*Gore May Have More Political Baggage Than Clinton. National Policy Analysis #208 reviews some of Vice President Albert Gore’s more controversial statements about the environment to suggest that the Vice President carries even more political baggage than President Clinton. Copies may be obtained on the web at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA208.html.