VISIT THE TRIO at HAIR LTD. Barbara, Mr. Parker, Mr. Jim Award-winning expert hair stylists 2411 R ichcreek 454-0984 Also specialists for hair singeing, for split ends and shag cuts Effluent and oil By James Ridgway Washington, D.C. Nixon’s EPA administrator Ruckelshaus virtually wrote the water pollution legislation which the White House now hopes to kill or gut in the House Public Works Committee. The legislation, which gives the federal government not the states authority to set effluent standards, passed the Senate without one dissenting vote. Ruckelshaus had appeared at executive sessions of Muskie’s Senate Public Works Subcommittee, and told the members what he wanted in the way of a bill. The committee thereupon wrote legislation along the lines Ruckelshaus had suggested. Before the bill was passed, the state water pollution control officials, fearing an incursion by the federal government into their territory, began a massive lobbying operation. Under the leadership of Henry Diamond, New York’s environmental chief, they deluged the capitol with letters and telegrams in opposition. Throughout the electric utilities argued vigorously against the legislation. \(One of the main lobbyists is John Adams, a lawyer with the Washington branch of Supreme Court nominee Powell’s law firm. He was of this had any influence on the Senate which passed the bill 86-0 on Nov. 2. At that point the White House jumped in, taking up for the state water pollution control men and rallying support behind the states rights banner. John Erhlichman, John Whitaker and the minority members of the House Public Works Committee got together to figure out how the measure could be gutted before it emerged from that committee. Russell Train, chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality was brought out to repudiate Ruckelshaus, and Ruckelshaus himself went to the White House for a meeting with Erhlichman. The plan is to weaken the measure in House Public Works. The chairman, John Blatnik, a Minnesota liberal, is a long-time anti-pollution supporter, but the steel companies are important in his district and he is without great influence on the Public Works Committee, which is still in a pork barrel operation. If past experience is any guide, the administration may succeed in gutting the legislation in House Public Works, then lose out in tough bargaining sessions within the House-Senate conference where Democrats led by Muskie will almost surely unite to turn pollution into an election issue. Muskie, incidentally, has pretty much reversed himself on pollution and the current bill is a great improvement on previous legislation he sponsored. One set of statistics alone tells the failure of all the Hard Times supposed efforts to halt water pollution: In 1965 the Congress passed legislation establishing for the first time federal water quality standards. The government was to establish criteria. The state would set standards based on the criteria, and the government then would approve and adopt the standards. Six years later, Muskie himself now admits, only half the states have federal approved water quality standards. THE OIL DAILY, gas and oil trade sheet, recently reported that Secretary of Interior Morton is planning a first lease sale of oil off the East Coast in the Atlantic by the middle of 1972 not 1975 as previously expected. The choice spot for the, first sale would be in the Baltimore Canyon, running from New Jersey to the tip of the Del-Mar-Va. penninsula, and perhaps as far south as North Carolina. Leasing of another section, along the Georges Bank, probably will wait until much later because of the international problems involved; according to the paper. Oil Daily goes on to point out that the state of Delaware may have thrown a monkey wrench into developments by passing a law banning development of refining-petrochemical terminal operations off its coast. The governor signed this legislation over the strenuous objections of Commerce Secretary S tans. At the time nobody realized this proposed superport operation was to be built in anticipation of operations along the East Coast. It was generally thought to be a trans-shipment point for oil and coal coming in from abroad and in the case of coal going out to Japan. Every member of the House of Representatives with districts along the Atlantic seaboard has by now gone on record against drilling. Morton promptly denied the Oil Daily report, claiming the department must first survey environmental problems before letting leases. He went on to say, “It is quite obvious that we could not possibly take any action on exploratory drilling for a couple of years.” But a hint of what is to come is contained in legislation sponsored by Congressman Edward Garmatz, chairman of the House Merchant Marine Committee. The legislation would establish marine. sanctuaries along the East Coast. It may be the first offering by the oil men to conservation groups,. part of a strategy aimed at getting control of parts of the coast. UNDER NIXON’S price freeze program electric utilities are expected to raise their rates by three or four billion dollars. The theory is that utilities should be exempted from the freeze because they are regulated. In protesting this exemption, Sen. Lee Metcalf pointed out that 26 of the 184 major electric utilities which serve residential customers earned more than 15 percent on their common stock last year, yet many of them have rate increases pending. Investor-owned electric utilities spent seven times as much on advertising and sales promotion last year despite their monopoly position and the energy shortage as they spent on research and development even though research and development costs are fully recoverable. IT WAS REHNQUIST’ who wrote the memoranda counselling the President to go ahead and underwrite the Penn Central when it floundered. Rehnquist argued the underwriting was appropriate in the interests of national defense. Nixon took this good counsel and was prepared to go ahead and bail out the railroad until he had an unexpected conversation with David Packard, the undersecretary of defense. Packard, an astute West Coast businessman, told Nixon he would go along and do his bidding, but the President should know. that Packard thought the Penn Central was a bum deal. Stunned, Nixon spent the day on the phone, calling up and down the east coast and discovered that the Penn Central was a lemon and discarded Rehnquist’s sound advice. December 17, 1971 11
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.