1977 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the passage of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (S. 9) which substantially improved the law governing the Interior Department's leasing of the OCS lands for oil drilling. The new law gave the Secretary of the Interior discretionary authority to cancel leases if they would have serious and lasting environmental impacts. The new Act imposed strict liability for oil spill damages, to give the oil companies a strong incentive to be careful, and it required the use of the safest available drilling technology. It set up an Oil Spill Liability Fund and a Fishermens Gear Compensation Fund for immediate compensation to people suffering damages. Coastal states received additional funding to help them cope with the onshore impacts of OCS development, and got greater power to participate in decision-making. The Carter Administration supported the bill and signed it into law. Environmentalists considered it a big step forward in the effort to ensure that offshore energy development does not jeopardize fisheries and coastal resources. Adopted 60-18; July 15, 1977. Yes is the correct vote.