1985 Scorecard Vote
In a frantic response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, Congress set up the multi-billion dollar Synthetic Fuels Corporation (SFC) to encourage private commercial development of synthetic fuels. However, without the invention of new pollution control technologies, the transformation of coal and oil shale into synthetic fuels creates massive environmental problems, including air pollution, groundwater contamination and disposal of huge amounts of toxic wastes.
As oil prices began to drop and synfuels became less and less economically competitive, Congress in 1984 cut $5.5 billion from synfuels subsidies. In 1985, environmentalists joined fiscal conservatives in trying to cut the remaining $7.5 billion in commercial synfuel subsidies, leaving $500 million for research.
In this vote, Sen. McClure (R-ID) sought to table (kill) Sen. Metzenbaum's (D-OH) amendment to rescind all but $500 million of the $7.5 billion funding for the SFC. Motion rejected 41-58; October 31, 1985. NO is the pro-environmental vote. (McClure Motion to table Metzenbaum Amendment, H.R. 3011, FY '86 Interior Appropriations.) After several additional battles over cost and usefulness, commercial synfuel subsidies were finally abolished in December 1985.