1987 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the Johnston (D-LA) motion to table the Adams (D-WA)-Reid (D-NV) amendment, which would have removed the nuclear waste siting provisions from the bill. The bill directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to expedite the selection of one of three sites for a permanent national nuclear waste dump. (The sites under consideration were in Nevada, Texas, and Hanford, Washington. At the time of the vote, DOE was leaning towards the Nevada site, but had not yet made a final choice.)
Environmentalists charged that DOE had chosen the three sites mainly for political reasons, that it had failed to collect the information required under the 1982 Act, and that its technical and scientific analysis was hopelessly inadequate. We still don't know the safest place to put our nuclear wastes: it may not be at any one of these sites at all. There is no need to pick a permanent site immediately, since utilities can continue to use on-site storage facilities at nuclear plants for several years. But politically, the failure to find a permanent resting place for nuclear wastes is embarrassing to the nuclear industry, which wants to find a quick fix and declare the problem solved. The bill required DOE to stop gathering information and make its choice. The motion was agreed to 55-30 on November 4, 1987. No is the pro-environmental vote.