D. MICHAEL RAPPOPORT
STATEMENT BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE
UNITED STATES SENATE
MARCH 14, 1997

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee: My name is David Michael Rappoport of Paradise Valley, Arizona and I am Associate General Manager for Public & Communications Services of the Salt River Project (SRP), a public utility providing electricity and water to much of the Metropolitan Phoenix area. In that capacity I am responsible for community, corporate and government relations as well as communication, consumer and education services.

Prior to joining SRP in 1973, I was employed by The National Association of Electric Companies in Washington, D.C. and before that served as a Legislative Assistant to former California Representative, Craig Hosmer and the late Congressman Rogers C.B. Morton of Maryland.

Thank you for this opportunity to present myself as a Presidential nominee for the position of Trustee of the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation and to share a few observations with you about the Foundation's achievements today.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Senator John McCain and Senator Jon Kyl for their letters on my behalf to the Committee. If appropriate, I request that they be included in the record.

My association with Mo Udall extends back nearly thirty years to a time when he was instrumental in building support for the Central Arizona Project, a major water supply system of energy, pumping and canal facilities. It continued through public policy activities involving land use planning, surface mining and reclamation, Indian water rights, the safety of Federal dams and several wilderness proposals.

In the early years, the interests I represented were not always in total agreement with the positions so effectively advocated by Mo. But for most of our association, was among the many who supported his leadership on a variety of issues of national import. In later years, I had the good fortune to either chair or serve on one of Mo's Business Advisory Committees, Energy and Water Task Forces as well as several of his reelection committees. And, like so many others, I came to admire his sense of civility, his ability to fashion consensus and above all, his integrity and commitment to public service.

Mr. Chairman, when Congress established the Udall Foundation, it gave special tribute to these qualities. Specifically, in 1992 Congress authorized to be appropriated $40 million to the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Trust Fund. About half of that amount has been appropriated to date. The funds are administered by the Foundation to, among other things:

-- Increase awareness of the importance of the Nation's natural resources;

-- Establish a Program for Environmental Policy Research and Environmental Conflict Resolution in the Udall Center located at the University of Arizona;

-- Develop resources to train professionals in the fields of environmental, Native American and Alaska Native health care and tribal public policy; and

-- Award scholarships, fellowships, internships and grants for study in fields related to the environment, Native American and Alaska Native policy.

Mr. Chairman, it was a particular privilege to be appointed by President Clinton in 1994 as one of the first Foundation Trustees. As Chair of the Management Committee, I can assure you that the Udall Fund and Foundation are committed to educating a new generation of young Americans.

The Foundation's 1996 Annual Report, submitted with my testimony, notes that some $19 million appropriated by Congress has been invested in public debt securities to produce a revenue stream of nearly $1.5 million. These earnings - and would respectfully point out that only the interest on this investment and such other funds and services as may be received in accordance with the law - are used to carry out Foundation purposes.

On behalf of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, it is a pleasure for me to report that to date the Udall Foundation:

-- Awarded scholarships in 1996 to 55 outstanding college juniors and seniors from 38 states and Puerto Rico. These scholars were selected from among 300 students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Each received up to $5,000 for 1 year to cover tuition, fees, books and room and board. The Foundation anticipates awarding 70 undergraduate scholarships and 2 graduate fellowships in 1997.

-- Implemented the first summer internship program for Native American students who served in U.S. House and Senate offices as well as in the White House. We are hopeful of expanding that program this summer as well.

-- Sponsored a major seminar at the University of Arizona on Environmental Health issues in the U.S. - Mexico Boarder Region and will fund the 1997 Environmental Conflict Resolution in the West Conference, again in conjunction with the Udall Center.

In sum, the Foundation's purpose and plan is best captured by Mo's own words of a few years ago: "America is never done like a poem or a painting..."

I am sure he believes, as do we, that the Foundation is well on the way to helping future generations care enough to change things. I would welcome the opportunity to serve a second term as a Udall Foundation Trustee to continue to help meet that challenge.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I am prepared to answer any questions the Committee may have at this time.

Thank you.