Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) at Risk


Despite strong support, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) is
still very much in danger of slipping through the cracks in the Senate,
with the limited amount of time remaining in the congressional schedule.
Congress returns to work next week, and we need to show the Senate and the
White House the widespread and diverse support CARA has.  It's "now or
never" for CARA -- to
take action.

The federal government receives over $4 billion annually in royalties from
oil and gas drilling from offshore reserves, some of which is supposed to
be deposited into the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  In turn,
the LWCF is supposed to fund local, state, and federal conservation
programs.  The logic behind this financing is simple and sensible --
revenues derived from the exploitation of the nation's non-renewable oil
and gas resources should be reinvested in the protection and restoration
of renewable natural resources.  From parks to playgrounds, wilderness to
wetlands, open trails to open spaces, the LWCF has been an American
success story, with nearly seven  million acres protected.

But Congress has diverted more than $11 billion from LWCF over the last 15
years.  CARA would correct that, creating a permanent $900 million revenue
stream for conservation and recreation projects, and designating billions
more for new environmental programs, including urban parks and recreation,
historic preservation, and landowner conservation incentives.

CARA is an historic opportunity to protect wildlife, forests, and open
spaces, and provide new recreational resources to the American people.

CARA already has been approved overwhelmingly by the House of
Representatives and has been passed the Senate Energy and Natural
Resources Committee.  But opponents are doing their best to block this
landmark legislation.

Several senators are circulating a letter to their colleagues asking the
Senate leadership to bring CARA to the Senate floor in September.  This is
a *very* important effort -- 11 Senators have signed the letter so far
(see list below), and our goal is have at least 60.  Senate rules prevent
traditional "co-sponsorship" of the bill at this stage, so this is the
best way to send a strong signal to the Senate leadership that CARA can
pass the full Senate if brought to the Senate floor.

The next few weeks are critical.  Your calls, letters, and faxes made a
*huge* difference in getting CARA through the House and the Senate Energy
Committee.  Now we need your help to get as many Senators as possible to
sign on to the "CARA Letter" to convince the Senate leadership to move
CARA forward.

Go to to take action, or
call your Senators (where you vote) at (202) 224-3121 (Capitol
switchboard).  CALLS ARE BEST RIGHT NOW!  Ask your Senator:

- Sign on to the "CARA Letter to the Senate leadership" to bring the
Conservation and Reinvestment Act (known as HR 701) to the Senate floor.
- Senators who want to sign on to the letter should contact Robert Hoffman
or Chris Maharidge in Sen. Mike DeWine's (R-OH) office at (202) 224-2315,
or Jason Schendle in Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) office at (202) 224-5824.
- If your Senator has already signed on to the letter (see list below),
THANK THEM, and ask them to encourage their colleagues to do the same.

Don't know who your Senators are?  See lists below.

Senators who have signed on to CARA Letter to the Senate leadership:
Spencer Abraham (R-MI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Bob Graham (D-FL)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Patrick Moynihan (D-NY)
Frank Murkowski (R-AK)
Arlen Specter (R-PA)
John Warner (R-VA)

Senators who have not yet signed on:
Alabama -- Jeff Sessions (R); Richard Shelby (R)
Alaska -- Ted Stevens (R)
Arizona -- John Kyl (R); John McCain (R)
Arkansas -- Tim Hutchinson (R); Blanche Lincoln (D)
California -- Barbara Boxer (D)
Colorado -- Wayne Allard (R); Ben Campbell (R)
Connecticut -- Christopher Dodd (D); Joseph Lieberman (D)
Delaware -- Joseph Biden (D); William Roth (R)
Florida -- Connie Mack (R)
Georgia -- Max Cleland (D); Zell Miller (D)
Hawaii -- Daniel Akaka (D); Daniel Inouye (D)
Idaho -- Mike Crapo (R); Larry Craig (R)
Illinois -- Richard Durbin (D); Peter Fitzgerald (R)
Indiana -- Evan Bayh (D); Richard Lugar (R)
Iowa -- Chuck Grassley (R); Tom Harkin (D)
Kansas -- Sam Brownback (R); Pat Roberts (R)
Kentucky -- Jim Bunning (R); Mitch McConnell (R)
Louisiana -- John Breaux (D)
Maine -- Susan Collins (R); Olympia Snowe (R)
Maryland -- Barbara Mikulski (D); Paul Sarbanes (D)
Massachusetts -- Edward Kennedy (D); John Kerry (D)
Michigan -- Carl Levin (D)
Minnesota -- Rod Grams (R); Paul Wellstone (D)
Mississippi -- Thad Cochran (R); Trent Lott (R)
Missouri -- John Ashcroft (R); Christopher Bond (R)
Montana -- Conrad Burns (R)
Nebraska -- Charles Hagel (R); Robert Kerrey (D)
Nevada -- Richard Bryan (D); Harry Reid (D)
New Hampshire -- Judd Gregg (R); Bob Smith (R)
New Jersey -- Frank Lautenberg (D); Robert Torricelli (D)
New Mexico -- Jeff Bingaman (D); Pete Domenici (R)
New York -- Charles Schumer (D)
North Carolina -- John Edwards (D); Jesse Helms (R)
North Dekota -- Kent Conrad (D); Byron Dorgan (D)
Ohio -- George Voinovich (R)
Oklahoma -- James Inhofe (R); Don Nickles (R)
Oregon -- Gordon Smith (R); Ron Wyden (D)
Pennsylvania -- Rick Santorum (R)
Rhode Island -- Lincoln Chafee (R); Jack Reed (D)
South Carolina -- Ernest Hollings (D); Strom Thurmond (R)
South Dakota -- Thomas Daschle (D); Tim Johnson (D)
Tennessee -- William Frist (R); Fred Thompson (R)
Texas -- Phil Gramm (R); Kay Hutchison (R)
Utah -- Robert Bennett (R); Orrin Hatch (R)
Vermont -- James Jeffords (R); Patrick Leahy (D)
Virginia -- Charles Robb (D)
Washington -- Slade Gorton (R); Patty Murray (D)
West Virginia -- Robert Byrd (D); John Rockefeller (D)
Wisconsin -- Russell Feingold (D); Herb Kohl (D)
Wyoming -- Mike Enzi (R); Craig Thomas (R)