Enviro-Newsbrief September 22, 1995
The following is a daily update summarizing news of interest
to EPA staff. It includes information from current news sources:
newspapers, newsletters, and other publications. For more
information, contact the EPA Headquarters Library at (202) 260-
5921, or e-mail LIBRARY-HQ.
**Viewpoints expressed in the following summaries do not
necessarily reflect EPA policy**
** NOTICE **
Due to technical difficulties, Friday's issue of Enviro-
Newsbrief was delayed. We apologize for any inconvenience.
** ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE **
Veto Threatened Over Arctic Drilling: Budget Reconciliation
Proposal Would Open Refuge To Oil Industry. The Washington Post,
September 22, 1995, p. A4. Clinton Will Veto Reconciliation Bill
With Arctic Refuge Drilling, Rivlin Says. Daily Environment
Report, September 22, 1995, pp. A-7-8.
The budget reconciliation bill will be vetoed by President
Clinton if it contains provisions to open the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, Office of Management and
Budget Director Alice Rivlin said. In letters to the Alaskan
chairman and ranking Democrats of the House Resources Committee
and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Rivlin
said that, "President Clinton and his senior advisors have stated
many times that we should prohibit oil drilling in this
biologically-rich wilderness and work instead to protect its
coastal plain...the last fragment of Alaska's Arctic Slope,
comprising a pristine, unique ecosystem that is home to hundreds
of plant and animal species."
Rivlin also said that drilling may violate a US-Canadian
environmental treaty, and that it would "disturb the pristine
area, risking oil spills, pollution and damage that could impair
wildlife for decades or centuries." Congressional committees
argue that $1.3 billion could be raised over 7 years from the
sale of drilling rights "without damaging the environment."
** INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS **
Spending Bill Would Reverse Nation's Environment Policy. The New
York Times, September 22, 1995, pp. A1, A29.
House and Senate negotiators have reported their joint
Interior appropriations bill to the full House and Senate for
voting. The Times states that it "reverses decades of Democratic
environmental policy...." Some features of the bill include: a
moratorium on new listings under the Endangered Species Act, the
removal of the moratorium on mining land claim ownership, the
shift of the Mojave National Preserve from the National Park
Service to the Bureau of Land Management, the transfer of the
National Biological Service to US Geological Survey with a
reduced budget, a 90-day moratorium on new grazing regulations,
limitations on the Columbia River Basin environmental impact
statement, and increases in the timber harvest from the Tongass
The Clinton Administration has not yet said whether the
President will sign or veto the bill if it reaches his desk,
"though a veto appeared likely."
** BUDGET **
Gingrich Vows No Retreat On Debt Ceiling Increase: 'I Don't Care
What The Price Is,' Speaker Says. The Washington Post, September
22, 1995, p. A13. Gingrich Threatens U.S. Default If Clinton
Won't Bend On Budget. The New York Times, September 22, 1995,
pp. A1, D5. Negotiations Set On Stopgap Spending Bill. The Wall
Street Journal, September 22, 1995, p. A9.
Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) asserted that he would not allow
the House to vote on raising the federal debt ceiling until
President Clinton accepts the Republican balanced budget plans.
Observers immediately stressed that this was a threat to throw
the US into default for the first time in its history. Treasury
Secretary Robert Rubin and OMB director Alice Rivlin criticized
Gingrich's position, noting that even the threat of a default
could adversely affect world financial markets and US debt costs
for "many, many years to come." Rubin and financial analysts do
not believe legislators will actually let a default occur, but
Gingrich said, "Do not assume that we will flinch, because we
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Administration and
Congress will start meeting today to work out differences in
continuing resolution proposals. Republicans favor temporary
targeted deep reductions in certain programs, while the
Administration favors a smaller across-the-board reduction. The
Journal reports that Republicans don't want to "invite demands
from GOP conservatives for still larger across-the-board cuts."