1977 Scorecard Vote
(H.R. 6161): The vote is on the Breaux-Emery amendment to allow governors to permit Class I and Class II areas to exceed ambient air pollution standards for 18 days each year. This would gut a portion of the Clean Air Act which protects areas with pristine air from "significant deterioration" in air quality. Class I areas are national park and wilderness areas over 5,000 acres. Class II includes all other areas not violating federal air standards for sulfur dioxide and particulates. By exempting the 18 highest pollution days, air quality protection would be significantly lowered, and National Parks would be subject to power plant construction close by. The Inter Mountain Power Project, for example, a 300,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant could have been constructed only 9 miles from Capital Reef National Park in Utah under this amendment. Without the amendment, it could not be built so close to national park or wilderness areas. Sulfur dioxide causes respiratory diseases and eye irritation, reduces visibility and increases acid rainfall which kills freshwater fish. Adopted 237-172. May 5, 1977. NO is the correct vote.