THE COAL CHAPTER of President Reagan's much-awaited energy and national security report, still in draft form, contains no dramatic new policy initiatives knowledgeable about the study.
The coal section does include a recommendation to retain the Fuel Use Act requiring coal-burning capability at new power plants. The 20-page draft also supports coal industry efforts to obtain rate and service protection for producers reliant on a single carrier for rail transportation.Also included is a carefully worded discussion of the issue of eminent domain for coal slurry pipelines.
The coal chapter and other sections of the energy security report face several more reviews before publication. The report was scheduled to be completed by the end of the year but energy industry sources expect it to be delayed.
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THE U.S. AEROSPACE INDUSTRY, always a bright spot in the nation's trade picture, is becoming less so due to rapidly increasing sales in the United States by foreign aircraft manufacturers.
According to the Aerospace Industries Association of America, overseas sales of U.S.-made planes, helicopters, aircraft engines, missiles and space products should hit close to $19 billion this year, a modest gain over 1985. But imports of the same will exceed $8 billion, a 32 percent gain over last year.
The resulting U.S. trade surplus of some $11 billion in aerospace is 14 percent smaller than last year's balance.
Foreign manufacturers made heavy gains this year in civil aircraft sales. They sold $1 billion worth of small planes in the United States, or 54 percent more, and $800 million worth of commercial jets, 33 percent more.
The increase in general aviation imports was due primarily to sales of small commuter aircraft, a product line dominated by the Europeans.
The boost in commercial jet imports resulted mainly from Airbus Industrie sales to Continental Airlines and World Airways. Recently, Airbus made another substantial sale to Northwest Airlines.
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IF THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION sends an omnibus trade bill to Congress next year, it will have competition.
The staffs of both the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee are rewriting two comprehensive trade bills introduced this year.
One of them is the measure passed by the House, which President Reagan called kamikaze leg islation, and the other is a bipartisan bill supported by over 30 senators, many of them Finance Committee members.
The trick will be to reconcile differences - many of them significant - between each of the two bills and whatever the administration decides to
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A TOLL INCREASE of perhaps 12 percent is expected from Canada on the Welland Canal, effective at the opening of the new Great Lakes shipping season in the spring.
The Canadians were said to need the revenue and to have made this clear recently to U.S. officials.
A comparable boost was put into effect for the Welland this past year. Such an increase raises by some 5 percent the overall cost of transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland to enter and leave the Great Lakes.
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HOW TO ANGER AN ANGEL: In the case of Federal Reserve Gov. Wayne Angell, merely to suggest that he and other Reagan appointees to the Fed are dragging Chairman Paul Volcker along, much against his will, on monetary expansion.
At a journalists' conference last week, Mr. Angell bristled when asked about such a criticism by Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., who had addressed the group earlier.
Is there anybody here that believes that? asked Mr. Angell, his voice rising as he began to roam the front of the room, gesturing emphatically.
Mr. Angell had just been telling the group how he would be the last holdout against any inflationary policies, and how he and Chairman Volcker see eye-to-eye on so many issues.
While still smiling, he began interrogating the reporters present, asking how they could allow the senator to get by with such an absurd statement. He continued, Are you just mambys who sit here and never talk back?
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POWER PAIR: The law firm of Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey apparently has scored a senatorial coup as big as its name.
Retiring senators Russell Long, D-La., and Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., will join the firm next month. Sen. Long, the former Senate Finance Committee chairman, will offer his services in tax, trade and employee stock matters.
Sen. Laxalt, called President Reagan's closest friend in Congress, plans to specialize in foreign affairs and corporate law.
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A SQUEAKY CLEAN highway funding bill may be readied for a try at passage when the new Congress convenes next month.
One option being looked at calls for stripping the legislation of issues such as the 55 mph speed limit, billboard standards and the other subjects generating the controversy that blocked enactment of the $50 billion bill in the last Congress.
All these issues could be dealt with in legislation expected to come up later next year, one aide said.
The chances for success may hinge on whether the demonstration projects fully funded by the federal government and dear to so many Congressional hearts are dropped from the bill.
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TRY THIS: The American Tort Reform Association, a group of business, non- profit, insurance, professional and other interests seeking both state and federal liability law reform, has been battling the Association of Trial Lawyers of America over the need to change tort law.
The association presented its first Robber Barrister Award to ATLA President Robert Habush. The award: A set of out-of-balance scales.