1999 Scorecard Vote
The burning of fossil fuels is one of the world's major sources of pollution, producing the nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide that, in turn, contribute to smog and global warming. Yet the Department of Energy, through its Fossil Fuel Research and Development program, continues to spend money on technologies to produce, refine, and burn fossil fuels such as coal, rather than on exploring the use of cleaner fuels and technologies.
During consideration of the Fiscal Year 2000 Interior appropriations bill, two amendments were introduced to cut portions of the $280 million earmarked for the Energy Department's fossil fuel program. Representatives Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Ron Lewis (R-KY), James Oberstar (D- MN), and Bart Stupak (D-MI) offered an amendment to cut $50 million from the program. Part of the savings would be used to compensate local governments that have federally-owned land in their jurisdictions for "lost" tax revenues through the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. In addition, Representatives James McGovern (D-MA), Tom Campbell (R-CA), Joseph Hoeffel (D-PA), and Rush Holt (D-NJ) offered an amendment to transfer $29 million from the fossil fuel program to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (see House vote 4). On July 13, 1999, the House passed the Sanders amendment 248–169. YES is the pro-environment vote.