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. This vote was over how large a cut should be made in the federal Synthetic Fuel Corporation's $13.3 billion budget. Environmentalists supported the Conte-Wolpe amendment to cut $10 billion, leaving the SFC with $3.3 billion in spending authority. This would still be more than enough to test every synfuel technology requesting aid, and would be a far larger subsidy than the government provides for cheaper and less destructive energy sources. Environmentalists were opposed to the Ratchford amendment, which limited the SFC budget cut to $5 billion.
Ratchford amendment adopted 236-177; August 2, 1984. NO is the pro-environmental vote. (Ratchford amendment to the Conte-Wolpe amendment to the fiscal 1985 Interior Appropriations bill, H.R. 5973.) The Reagan Administration opposed the Ratchford amendment, although it later changed position and supported a nearly identical amendment in the Senate. In the end, Congress cut $5.375 billion of the SFC's remaining $13.3 billion spending authority.