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Energy Department Spends $1.3 Million Sending 17,000 Environmental Reports

December 16, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Energy Department acknowledges it may not have won friends on Capitol Hill by spending $1.3 million to send 17,000 copies of a 23-volume report on the superconducting super collider.

The action has alienated at least one House member already.

″At a time when we’re looking for ways to reduce federal spending, this is just absurd,″ Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said Thursday. ″Some federal bureaucrats just don’t use common sense.″

Hastert, whose district includes a rejected collider site, suggested lawmakers who doubt Energy Secretary John Herrington considered costs in picking Texas to house the $4.4 billion atom smasher may be even more skeptical now.

’I understand where the argument is coming from,″ department spokesman Jeff Sherwood said. ″I don’t know who made the ultimate decision. But if we hadn’t distributed (the report), we would have been criticized for that as well.″

At issue is an 8,000-page environmental impact statement on proposed collider sites in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The department sent copies of the statement to everyone who testified at hearings on the project or submitted written comments on any of the finalist sites, Sherwood said. --- Life Expectancy For Blacks Drops Second Consecutive Year

WASHINGTON (AP) - The life expectancy for blacks has dropped for two consecutive years for the first time since 1970, when mortality data was first broken down by race, according to a federal report.

While the white population experienced an increase in life expectancy, to a record high of 75.4 years, from 1985 to 1986, the black rate declined to 69.4 years, the same level as in 1982.

Despite that most recent two-year decline, the report notes that ″the largest gain in life expectancy between 1970 and 1986 was for both black males and females, 5.2 years, followed by white males, 4 years, and white females, 3.2 years.″

The annual figures, released recently by the National Center for Health Statistics, are derived from comparing U.S. Bureau of the Census data with death certificates filed in the 50 states and District of Columbia.

The 55-page report makes no attempt at explaining any of the trends shown by the figures. However, the tables show there was a 15 percent increase in homicides among blacks between 1985 and 1986, compared to a 5 percent increase among whites. --- AT&T Expects Record Calling This Christmas

WASHINGTON (AP) - American Telephone & Telegraph Co. says it expects to handle more than 47 million long-distance calls this Christmas - a holiday calling record that would be 3 million more than last year.

Residential customers make more long-distance calls on Christmas than on any other day of the year, according to AT&T, which serves about 70 percent of the U.S. long-distance market.

AT&T’s night-weekend discounted rates will be in effect all day on Christmas Eve and until 5 p.m. on Christmas Day. From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Christmas Day, AT&T’s evening discount will apply and night-weekend rates will begin again at 11 p.m. --- Eds: Note language in 3rd graf Quayle Was Bored In House, Feisty In Senate, Book Says

WASHINGTON (AP) - Dan Quayle was so bored in the House of Representatives that he missed committee meetings to play golf or work out, according to a new book on the vice president-elect.

However, the book, by political scientist Richard F. Fenno Jr., says Quayle quickly matured when he moved to the Senate in 1980 and risked alienating the Republican administration to engineer passage of an important bipartisan job training bill.

The freshman Republican senator was so irritated at roadblocks to the bill thrown up by Labor Department officials and then-Secretary Raymond Donovan that he referred to them as ″the bastards,″ the book says.

″The Making of a Senator: Dan Quayle″ is a six-year study by Fenno of Quayle’s political career and his chief legislative accomplishment, the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982. It is published by Congressional Quarterly.

Quayle’s office said there would be no comment on the book.

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