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- -N 4ATION The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 9
Senate rejects requiring federal energy regulation
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate yester-
day rejected a proposal, inspired by the Enron
collapse, that would have required federal regu-
lation of financial contracts used to speculate
on energy prices.
Working through provisions of the energy
bill, senators also moved closer to an expected
confrontation over drilling in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge. They turned back
attempts by a group of Western senators to
scuttle the bill's provisions involving the elec-
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said her pro-
posal on the financial contracts, known as deriva-
tives, would have "closed a loophole" that
allowed Enron to buy and sell energy holdings
largely in secret without government regulation.
Opponents of the measure argued it was too
broad and would threaten the entire market in
derivatives, which are used widely in commod-
ity markets and other trading.
"The entire financial sector - every bank,
every securities company, every insurance
company - is opposed to this amendment" as
are federal market regulators, including Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, said Sen.
Phil Gramm (R-Texas) who led the efforts
against the measure.
Separately, an unusual coalition of conserva-
tive and liberal senators from the West failed to
strip away virtually all of the energy bill's pro-
visions affecting the electricity industry.
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who led the
attack on the electricity section, said it extends
"tremendous new authority to a central, regula-
tory body" over electricity markets. An earlier
compromise would give federal regulators
more clout in the structuring of power grids
and consumer protections.
Craig, a conservative who viewed it as an
issue of states rights, got help from a group of
liberals Democrats, including Sens. Barbara
Boxer of California and Maria Cantwell of
Washington. They expressed concern that the
bill - as now written -- would reduce con-
sumer protection while repealing a Depression-
era law that limits the activities of large,
electricity holding companies.
The Craig amendment failed 67-32.
Some GOP supporters of oil drilling in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge floated an idea
to link it to a measure to help struggling steel-
workers, possibly attracting Democratic votes.
."It shows how desperate they are," said
Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). An
amendment to develop the refuge in Alaska
will be met by Democratic-led filibuster, and
Daschle said a vote on the refuge was not
expected until next week.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer
reiterated Bush's view that Iraq's oil embar-
go strengthens Bush's argument for drilling
"The president knows that ANWR represents
46 years worth of imports of oil from Saddam
Hussein's Iraq," Fleischer said.
The proposal to regulate energy derivatives
had lingered before the Senate for more than a
month as Feinstein and Gramm tried to work
out a compromise.
Yesterday, Feinstein was unable to win the
votes to cut off debate on the matter and bring
the amendment up for a vote. Sensing defeat,
Feinstein withdrew the amendment.
Trading in energy derivatives over the Internet
was a big part of Enron's energy trading business.
Such trading now is exempt from federal regula-
tions and can be done largely in secret.
Her proposal would have brought such trading
under the rules of the Commodity Futures Trad-
ing Commission, required new reporting require-a
ments and required trading partners to assure
adequate capital to support the transactions.
Gramm's wife, Wendy Gramm, headed the
commission when it exempted energy deriva-
tives trading from government regulation. She
later joined Houston-based Enron as a director
and member of its audit committee and has
been named with fellow directors in a lawsuit
by investors of the now-bankrupt company.
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's a
couch potato's dream: Instead of
sweating and straining, people
someday may simply pop a pill to
get in shape, say researchers who
have identified how muscle cells get
stronger from regular exercise.
Researchers at Duke University
and the University of Texas South-
western Medical Center have found
the chemical pathway that muscle
cells use to build up their strength
With this basic knowledge in
hand, it may now be possible to
develop a pill that pumps up muscle
cells without all that exercise, said
Dr. R. Sanders Williams, dean of
t...t would Unive
enhance the medicine.
performance may be one
of the pos-
of athletes " sibilities,"
"s a i d
- Sander Williams Williams.
Medical doctor But, as a
said the main target of the research
is to help people with heart disease
or other conditions that keep them
from doing enough exercise to
"This could lead to drugs that will
let people get the health benefits of
regular exercise, even if they cannot
exercise," said Williams. This could
improve the health of patients with
heart or lung disease, or lower the
risk of diabetes II, for instance.
"It is possible it could become a
drug of abuse because it would
enhance the performance of ath-
letes," he said.
In the study, Williams and his col-
leagues created a group of mice
with genes that over-expressed a
signaling protein called calmodulin-
dependent protein kinase, or CaMK.
When this signaling protein is acti-
vated, it and another protein, cal-
cineurin, trigger the physical
changes that muscle cells undergo
after intense exercise.
Williams said that mice with a
high level of CaMK expression
developed more mitochondria in
muscle cells and saw an increase of a
type of cell called the "slow twitch"
These are muscle cells that power
sustained activity, such as required
by marathon runners.
The researchers found that mice
with high levels of CaMK developed
the same healthy muscle cells as
mice that did exercise.
"The effect increases more of the
slow twitch muscles, but it also
increases the number of mitochon-
dia in the fast twitch muscle cells,"
"That is very similar to what hap-
pens in very intense training."
Mitochondria are structures
inside a cell that provide energy by
metabolizing oxygen and food.
* Cells with many mitochondria can
produce more work over a longer
time. Physical training increases the
number of mitochondria in muscle
Williams said that a drug that
would trigger the CaMK muscle sig-
naling pathway has not been found,
but now that there is a specific tar-
get it should made the development
"Pharmaceutical companies are
verv good at that." he said.
Man accused of murder
believes he killed Hitler
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP)'- A
software engineer who shot seven co-
workers to death believes he actually
killed Adolf Hitler and six German
generals, his attorney told the jury
yesterday at his murder trial.
Michael McDermott, 43, believes
St. Michael appeared to him 12 days
before the Dec. 26, 2000, massacre at
Edgewater Technology and told him
he could earn a soul if he prevented
the Holocaust, attorney Kevin Red-
McDermott claims he was suffering
from schizophrenia and cannot be
held responsible for his actions.
"This man is insane. As he sits
here in front of you now, he is
insane," Reddington said in his open-
"I will put him on that witness
stand and I will ask him questions and
you will hear him say that you don't
exist, that I don't exist, the judge
doesn't exist and the people in this
courtroom don't exist."
Prosecutors said McDermott
planned the slayings in retaliation for
the company's plans to withhold his
wages to pay off $5,600 in back taxes.
But Reddington disputed claims his
client was having financial difficul-
ties, saying McDermott had at least
$50,000 in his retirement account at
As his lawyer laid out his case for
insanity, McDermott, a burly man
with long hair and bushy beard, sat at
the defense table reading a tattered
Bible. Reddington said McDermott
constantly hears voices and the reason
he wears his hair long and wild is
because he believes it "keeps the
Reddington said McDermott_.
believes he died in a German police
station sometime after his arrest. "At
this moment he believes he's killed noI
one but Hitler and those six German
generals," Reddington said. "He does-
n't believe he killed his co-workers." 2
President Bush shakes hands with members of the audience in the East Room of
the White House yesterday afternoon.
U.S. may provide
help to Colombia
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bush
administration officials urged lawmak-
ers yesterday to end the legal barriers
that prevent Colombia from using
U.S.-funded combat helicopters to bat-
tle leftist guerrillas.
The United States has provided
Colombia with dozens of helicopters
and other military aid in recent years,
but with the restriction that they be used
only for counternarcotics operations.
"We're trying to allow a democratic
Colombia to again have control over its
territory," Undersecretary of State Marc
Grossman told the House Appropria-
tions foreign operations subcommittee.
Committee members were wary of
expanding the U.S. role in Colombia,
saying they are not convinced that the
wealthy and powerful in Colombia are
making the sacrifices needed to win
their country's 38-year civil war. They
said Colombia spends just 3 percent of
its gross domestic product on defense.
"If we're going to commit our
resources, our efforts, our prestige,
then we ought to do it after Colombia
demonstrates it's willing to belly up
to the line," said Rep. David Obey
The committee will consider the
request to end the aid restrictions as
part of a larger administration request
for additional counterterrorism spend-
ing. That request also included $35
million in anti-terror aid for Colombia.
Some lawmakers suggested it
would be better to hold off on any
changes in Colombian aid until after
the country's May 26 presidential
election so they can see how commit-
ted Colombia's next leader will be to
the terrorism fight. Grossman tried
to discourage that.
Guerrillas "don't stop their attacks
waiting for an election," he said.
"They're attacking today, tomorrow
Colombia's outgoing president,
Andres Pastrana, will push for ending
the restrictions when he visits Wash-
ington next week. He will meet with
President Bush at the White House on
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