1973 Scorecard Vote
Surface Mine Reclamation Act of 1973 (S. 425). The vote is on the Mansfield amendment to prohibit coal surface mining on homesteaded lands, where the government owns the mineral rights but not the surface rights. This protected the rights of property owners who might otherwise be forced off their land. The amendment would have prevented strip mining in large areas of the West, but did not apply to deep mining. Since 90% of the nation's coal can only be recovered by deep mining, the amendment would have little long term impact on U.S. energy production. A National Academy of Sciences study concluded that many states did not have enough water to support coal gasification plants and other large energy projects needed to process and use large amounts of strip mined coal in the West. October 8, 1973. Adopted 53-33. Yes is the correct vote.