1984 Scorecard Vote
The environmental and economic problems of synthetic fuel production are noted above. Environmentalists favor continued research on synthetic fuels, but oppose big subsidies for commercial development until these problems have been solved. Shortly after Congress passed the $17.7 billion subsidy to be administered by the Synthetic Fuels Corporation, it let the special 10% investment tax credit for synfuels expire. But in 1984 there was a move in the Senate to restore this tax credit. Senator Bradley, with environmentalist support, offered an amendment to stop projects which were taking money from the SFC from also taking advantage of the 10% tax credit. This vote was on the Wallop motion to kill the Bradley amendment.
Allowing synthetic fuel companies to "double dip" at the public trough would indeed be ridiculous, especially in a time of huge federal deficits and cuts in social and environmental programs. Support from the Synthetic Fuels Corporation, along with other tax breaks, has made the synthetic fuels industry one of the most heavily subsidized in the nation. Double dipping would have cost taxpayers about $170 million in the years 1984 - 1987, and even more thereafter.
Wallop motion agreed to 52-43; April 11, 1984. NO is the pro-environmental vote. (Wallop motion to table Bradley amendment to Dole Amendment to Miscellaneous Tariff, Trade and Customs Matters bill, H.R. 2163.) Although this bill to restore the synfuels tax credit passed the Senate, it died in the House-Senate Conference.