1987 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the McMillan (R-NC) amendment of the Fiscal 1988 Transportation Appropriations Bill to reduce Amtrak railroad funding from $614 million to $598.8 million. Rail transport is less polluting and more energy efficient than most other modes of transportation and therefore should be encouraged. An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study found that railroads consume 3,170 BTUs per passenger mile, compared to 4,340 BTUs for cars, and 5,600 BTUs for commercial airlines. The automobile is now the leading culprit in the failure of many cities to meet federal clean air standards.
The demand for rail travel has steadily increased over 5 years and now greatly exceeds the supply. To meet the demand, Amtrak needs more money for rolling stock, track improvement, and other investments which have been put off because of drastic budget cuts by the Reagan Administration (Amtrak's total budget went from $896 million in 1981 down to $581 million in 1988). The amendment to cut funding was rejected 171-221 on July 13, 1987. NO is the pro-environmental vote.