1977 Scorecard Vote
Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (S 7). The vote is on the Hart amendment to ban all strip mining of western alluvial valley floors, unless mining operations had been approved prior to January 4, 1977. This would have plugged a loophole in the bill, which exempted mines which had undergone "substantial and legal commitments to begin mining." Alluvial valley floors are the most productive agricultural and cattle raising lands in the West, because they have naturally sub-irrigated and flood irrigated hay meadows. Strip mining here would further deplete scarce western water resources. An EPA study showed that less than 3% of the region's coal lay under alluvial valley floors, and hence environmentalists believe that agriculture should be given greater priority here. The Administration also supported the Hart amendment. Rejected 37-45: May 20, 1977. Yes is the correct vote.