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Date:   Thu, 18 Mar 1999 18:59:54 -0500
Reply-To:   Brad_Bergstrom <bergstrm@valdosta.edu>
Sender:   Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:   Brad_Bergstrom <bergstrm@VALDOSTA.EDU>
Subject:   [GABO]: Resources 2000, NOT CARA! (was TWW Update)
In-Reply-To:   <s6f1352d.000@mail.dnr.state.ga.us>
Content-Type:   TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Brad, EJ, and fellow Georgia Conservationists,

I don't think these alerts about CARA are quite telling the whole story. Certainly, we should all do what we can to lobby our representatives to support full funding of LWCF acquisition program (federal conservation lands to be purchased from offshore oil drilling revenues), which was authorized many years ago but has never come close to being fully funded by Congress.

There are House and Senate versions of these CARA bills, but there is, I think, a significantly better bill being offered as an alternative in the House, the Miller-Boxer Resources 2000 Bill (HR 798). This bill now has a companion bill in the Senate, which is S.446. I think we should ask our Reps to support Miller-Boxer and our Senators to support the Senate companion to Resources 2000 (S.446) instead of CARA (HR 701 and S.25), and here's why:

-Both the CARA bills provide incentives for new offshore oil development, encouraging exploration, leasing, and drilling. -Both the CARA bills base revenues to be expended in given regions on proximity to oil drilling. -Both the CARA bills allow expenditures (ostensibly intended for "conservation") on infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and planning projects for new oil development. -The Resources 2000 bills contain no such incentives or restrictions on expenditures based on proximity to oil drilling and do not allow for expenditures on infrastructure.

-Resources 2000 funds the LWCF at higher levels than CARA.

-The following programs are funded in the Res2000 bills, but have zero funding in the CARA bills: 1) Historic Preservation, 2) Federal Lands Restoration, 3) Endangered Species Recovery, 4) Living Marine Resources Restoration, and 5) Farm, Forest, Rangeland, and Open Space Conservation.

One should immediately have been skeptical about CARA, given that House Resources Committee Chair Don Young is author of the House version, and his Senate sidekick Ted Stevens is a sponsor of the Senate counterpart. If you know anything about these 2 members of the Alaska delegation, you know they have a long, notorious history of anti-environmental lawmaking, including support of right-wing groups like the "Wise Use" movement. They were instrumental in the 106th Congress's attempt to unravel virtually every environmental protection law on the books with a multitude of anti-environmental "riders" buried in omnibus spending bills.

The Anchorage Daily News quoted Sen. Stevens, explaining his support for S.25 (CARA): "It's a way to handle that money and perhaps restore the stimulus for offshore oil development."

Any "environmental" legislation sponsored by Young and Stevens ought to be a prime suspect for a Trojan Horse, and when you look at the details, it certainly seems to be!

For a side-by-side comparison of the two approaches (although it does not yet contain details on S.446), go to:

http://www.defenders.org/inter14.html

If CARA makes it in, conservationists with pure motives may be forced to lobby for (or acquiesce to) offshore oil drilling in their state, just to get a piece of the conservation-funds pie. So, I hope this is just a case of GA DNR people overlooking these details and not actively supporting incentives for new offshore oil development.

Brad ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brad Bergstrom, Ph.D., Professor TEL 912-333-5770 /-5759 Department of Biology FAX 912-333-7389 Valdosta State University e-mail: bergstrm@valdosta.edu Valdosta, GA 31698-0015 Home: 912-333-0743 Home Page-- http://www.valdosta.edu/~bergstrm/ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


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