[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Will the Rider be repealed?

  Distributed to TAP-RESOURCES, a free Internet Distribution List
  (subscription requests to listproc@tap.org) 
  (please distribute freely)
  September 25, 1996
  This post was prepared for TAP distribution by the
  Environmental Resources Information Network.  Thanks
  to Ned Daly for his assistance. -Arthur Clark, 
  ERIN Project Coordinator
  	With the federal fiscal year winding to a close, attention 
  has once again focused on the Congress.  Major parts of the federal 
  budget remain unfinished.  With Congress set to adjourn by Saturday, 
  negotiations to find agreement on spending and other matters between 
  the House, Senate, and White House are entering the "make or break" 
  	Reports have surfaced that repeal or defunding of the 
  Emergency Salvage Timber Sale Program, instituted by the infamous 
  "lawless logging" rider, is on the president's list of demands 
  regarding the budget negotiations.  Will the rider be repealed?  Who 
  is working for repeal?  What are they doing to promote repeal?  In 
  a series of short telephone interviews, I asked these and other 
  questions of spokespersons for a few of the players involved in the
  ongoing war over the salvage rider.  Below are some of the their 
  responses. (Most are not direct quotes.)
  	Forest protection advocates have alleged massive abuse of 
  the ESTSP.  Substantiated charges of harvesting perfectly healthy 
  timber under the guise of salvage logging have been levelled at 
  the Forest Service on an almost daily basis.  Other common 
  allegations have included use of the rider to log on steep, 
  unstable slopes (causing massive erosion and waterway 
  sedimentation), logging in riparian reserves, unnecessary entry 
  into inventoried roadless areas, and numerous other activities 
  that would normally be illegal.
  - Chris Holmes, Spokesman for Jack Ward Thomas, Chief of the 
    USDA Forest Service
  Q:  Is the Chief actively working for repeal of the rider?
  A:  No.  What the Chief is doing is making sure that all 
    environmental laws are followed and that the public has 
    the opportunity to comment on rider sales "within the 
    time constraints we have."  The Chief is also reviewing 
    individual sales to see that they are being properly 
    prepared and implemented.  
  Q:  What does the Chief believe are the chances of the rider 
    being repealed before Congress adjourns?
  A:  "Zero."  It expires in three months anyway.
  - Jack Cox, Press Secretary for Representative Charles Taylor 
    (R-NC), sponsor of the ESTSP rider in the House
  Q:  I assume that the Congressman remains opposed to repeal of 
    the rider?
  A:  Yes.  Several votes have already occurred attempting to repeal 
    or block funding for the rider.  The Congressman has spoken in 
    opposition to these measures and they have failed.
  Q:  What does the Congressman believe are the chances of the rider
    being repealed before Congress adjourns?
  A:  "Slim to none."  The leadership has to allow it to come up for 
    a vote.
  - Elise Jones, staff person for Representative Elizabeth Furse 
    (D-OR), sponsor of previous attempts to end the ESTSP
  Q:  Representative Furse recently sent a letter to the President and 
    House leadership calling for repeal of the rider.  She asked that 
    her colleagues join her in signing this letter.  How successful 
    was this effort?
  A:  One-hundred and five House members signed the letters.  It was a 
    bi-partisan group including more than a dozen Republicans.  Among 
    the Republicans were Rep. John Kasich, Chairman of the Budget 
    Committee, Rep. Gilman, Chairman of the International Relations 
    Committee, Rep. Leach, Chairman of the Banking Committee, and Rep.
    Sherwood Boehlert, Co-Chairman of the Republican Environmental 
    Taskforce.  It was a solid show of support for rider repeal.
  Q:  What does the Representative believe are the chances of the rider
    being repealed before Congress adjourns?
  A:  "We remain optimistic that the rider can be repealed."  All those 
    who wish to see it repealed should act now.  The decisions that 
    will determine whether a repeal measure is voted on and passed will 
    be made in the next 24 hours.
  TAP-RESOURCES is an Internet Distribution List provided by the
  Taxpayer Assets Project (TAP).  TAP was founded by Ralph Nader 
  to monitor the management of government property, including
  information systems and data, government funded R&D, spectrum,
  allocation, public lands and mineral resources, and other
  government assets.  TAP-RESOURCES reports on TAP activities
  relating to natural resources policy.  To obtain further
  information about TAP send a note to tap@tap.org.
  Subscription requests to: listproc@tap.org with the
  message:  subscribe tap-resources yourfirstname yourlastname
  Taxpayer Assets Project; P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC  20036
  v. 202/387-8030; f. 202/234-5176; internet: tap@tap.org