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Post 9/11 Opportunism to the Max - National Defense Authorization Act of 2002
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<-- Return To 21st Century Warfare

This could be the killer bill -- right-to-know, clean air, species, biodiversity, rivers -- you name it -- ALL are at risk. This may be the worst of the many shameful post 9/11 opportunistic actions so far. (See Bill Moyers speech at the Environmental Grantmakers Association on post 9/11 Greed & Opportunism). Read below to learn more about the impacts of National Security.

Resources:
Watch for Senate Committee on Armed Services press releases.
Excerpt from S. 1438.
For full text of the various versions of the bill go to Thomas Legislative Information and search for "S. 1438."
Congressional email and phone directory.

According to Lenny Siegel (CPEO):

"The earlier version would have required that Defense Department actions be subject to National Security Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Apparently, when staff at the Defense Department recognized that such Statements, as proposed, would be more cumbersome for the military than for its environmental critics, it developed an alternative proposal.

As the Levin letter suggests, the Administration never signed off on the proposal. Still, members of the House Armed Services Committee have put it forward as part of the Conference process.

Instead of subjecting Defense actions to new scrutiny, the substitute language would allow Defense to "identify those classes of actions of Federal agencies other than the Department of Defense that it is reasonably foreseeable may have an adverse impact on national defense." The Defense Department would then prepare a National Defense Impact Statement analyzing those impacts and recommending "means to eliminate or [reduce]/[mitigate] those adverse impacts." The other agency would be required, as part of its decision-making process for the proposed action, to respond to each Defense Department recommendation. In short, the mission of the Defense Department would permanently be elevated, giving it extraordinary powers to challenge environmental and other rule-makings and other actions initiated by other agencies."

Levin's letter:

United States Senate
Committee on Armed Services
Washington, DC 20510

November 1, 2001

The Honorable Mitch Daniels
Director, Office of Management and Budget
Old Executive Office Building
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Mr. Daniels:

The Armed Services Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives are currently engaged in a conference on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002. In the course of this conference, we have received a piece of draft legislation from the House conferees.

This proposal would establish a new process under which Federal agencies other than the Department of Defense would be required to identify proposed actions that may have an adverse impact on national defense and consult with the Secretary of Defense before finalizing the proposed actions.

That is an extraordinarily broad and cumbersome requirement in my judgment, but the point of this letter is to get the Administration's reaction to the proposal, since I understand that this draft has not been reviewed by either the Department of Defense of the Administration. Accordingly, I would appreciate if you would provide the conferees with the Administration's views on the proposed legislation. Because the proposal would appear to affect regulations, formal opinions, enforcement actions, permits and other actions of a broad array of federal agencies outside the Department of Defense, I would appreciate if you would consider the views of those agencies in responding to this request.

Your prompt response is urgently requested.

Sincerely,

Carl Levin
Chairman

Steve Taylor of the Military Toxics Project says:

"Members of the conference committee on the Defense Authorization Act for 2002 are currently working to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. House conferees are proposing language that would dramatically change the relationship between the Department of Defense and other federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency."

This language - if passed - would legally place the Department of Defense above all other federal agencies. The DoD would be able to unilaterally decide that any regulations, policies, or actions proposed by any other federal government department or agency will impact national security, and hold up the proposed regulation or action while its concerns are addressed.

Steve has provided the following action resources:

TAKE ACTION TO STOP THIS PROPOSAL NOW!

What You Can Do
1.. If you are represented by any of the House or Senate conferees listed below, call or fax them IMMEDIATELY and express your strong opposition to this proposal. 2.. Everyone please call or fax Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Senator Levin's number is (202) 224-6221. Senator Kennedy's number is (202) 224-4543. 3.. Spread the word and encourage others to call.

Talking Points and House and Senate Conferees are listed below. You can find phone numbers for conferees at http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/.

Talking Points
a.. No other fedeal department or agency has such unlimited and unilateral authority to contest the actions of other departments.

b.. This language would hamstring the ability of EPA and other agencies to do their jobs.

c.. The DoD is already completely or partially exempt from most federal environmental and public safety laws.

d.. DoD has already produced almost 28,000 contaminated sites across the country. They don't need any more authority to contest or avoid environmental regulations.

U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Conferees

Carl Levin (MI), Chairman
John Warner (VA), Ranking Member
Edward M. Kennedy (MA)
Strom Thurmond (SC)
Robert C. Byrd (WV)
John McCain (AZ)
Joseph I. Lieberman (CT)
Bob Smith (NH)
Max Cleland (GA)
James M. Inhofe (OK)
Mary L. Landrieu (LA)
Rick Santorum (PA)
Jack Reed (RI)
Pat Roberts (KS)
Daniel K. Akaka (HI)
Wayne Allard (CO)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Tim Hutchinson (AR)
E. Benjamin Nelson (NE)
Jeff Sessions (AL)
Jean Carnahan (MO)
Susan M. Collins (ME)
Mark Dayton (MN)
Jim Bunning (KY)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)

U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Conferees

Bob Stump (AZ), Chairman
Ike Skelton (MO), Ranking Member
Duncan Hunter (CA)
John M. Spratt, Jr. (SC)
James V. Hansen (UT)
Solomon P. Ortiz (TX)
Curt Weldon (PA)
Lane Evans (IL)
Joel Hefley (CO)
Gene Taylor (MS)
Jim Saxton (NJ)
Neil Abercrombie (HI)
John M. McHugh (NY)
Martin T. Meehan (MA)
Terry Everett (AL)
Robert A. Underwood (Guam)
Roscoe G. Bartlett (MD)
Tom Allen (ME)
Howard "Buck" McKeon (CA)
Victor F. Snyder (AR)
J.C. Watts, Jr. (OK)
Mac Thornberry (TX)
John N. Hostettler (IN)
Saxby Chambliss (GA)

Resources:
Watch for Senate Committee on Armed Services press releases.
Excerpt from S. 1438.
For full text of the various versions of the bill go to Thomas Legislative Information and search for "S. 1438."
Congressional email and phone directory.

<-- Return To 21st Century Warfare

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