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Gingrich kills attempt to protect roadless areas

  Distributed to TAP-RESOURCES, a free Internet Distribution List
  (subscription requests to listproc@tap.org) 
  (please distribute freely)
  June 24,1996
  	What should have been a key victory in the effort to protect 
  roadless areas in our national forests turned into a defeat, thanks to 
  House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) 
  introduced and successfully won passage of a measure to reduce the scope 
  of the U.S. Forest Service's destructive and costly road building 
  activities.  The Speaker later used a parliamentary maneuver to subject 
  Kennedy's amendment to second vote, which failed by one vote.  That one 
  deciding vote was cast by Gingrich himself.  Below is a press release 
  issued on Friday, June 21, by the Taxpayer Assets Project.
  Taxpayer Assets Project
  P.O. Box 19367
  Washington, DC  20036
  Internet: tap@essential.org
  							June 21, 1996
  CONTACT:  Ned Daly		Janice Shields
  	  (202)387-8030		(202)387-8030
  	  <ned@tap.org>		<jshields@essential.org>
  Soviet-style Land Management Programs - Gingrich Says, "Da!"
  	Forget the Speaker's recent image polishing campaign on the 
  environment, Gingrich showed his true colors this week by voting for 
  continued taxpayer subsidies and against the environment.
  	An amendment offered by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) to reduce the 
  U.S. Forest Service's road building budget by $42 million dollars passed 
  the House on Wednesday by a vote of 211 - 210. The following day Speaker 
  Gingrich called for a re-vote in which he cast the deciding vote, causing 
  the amendment to fail 211 - 211.
  	"Roadbuilding costs are the main reason taxpayers are losing 
  millions of dollars a year on the federal timber program," says Ned Daly, 
  Public Policy Analyst with the Taxpayer Assets Project. "The U.S. Forest 
  Service and the timber industry have already built over 348,000 miles of 
  roads in our national forest system making the Forest Service the largest 
  road-building agency in the world.  With Gingrich and Congress supporting 
  it, the Forest Service continues its soviet-style, money losing management 
  	In the Soviet Union, workers in the state-owned factories were 
  rewarded for meeting production plans which often set incongruent goals. 
  For example, the performance of workers in factories manufacturing nails 
  were rewarded for producing a predetermined quantity of nails measured by 
  the total weight of nails produced. Of course, this encouraged workers to 
  produce a few huge nails as a quick and easy way to meet the performance 
  standard, even though the economy had no use for such large nails.
  	As Dr. Janice Shields, an accountant with the Taxpayer Assets 
  Project, points out, this is basically how the Forest Service operates, 
  "The Forest Service is told by Congress to cut down a predetermined number 
  of trees, regardless of the impacts on the forests, the federal budget or 
  the economy. In fiscal year 1994, the latest year for which the Forest 
  Service has released information to the public, almost $83 million in net 
  losses were incurred on national forests with an overall net loss from 
  timber sales. This net loss grossly understates the amount of the losses 
  because more than $90 million in Washington and regional costs are excluded 
  and because sales generating losses and those generating profits are netted 
  in the Forest Service data, so the true total (as opposed to the net) amount 
  of losses is disguised."
  	Congress had an opportunity to bring federal land management policy 
  more in line with the changing economies in the West. Instead, with 
  Gingrich's vote making the difference, this Congress voted for all the 
  things they will be running against this fall:  corporate welfare, 
  environmental degradation, the waste of tax dollars, and good old-fashioned 
  pork." Daly went on to say, "Though Gingrich's role in this could not be 
  more clear, there are 210 other Representatives who will have a tough time 
  answering their constituents this fall."
                                 # # #
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