1978 Scorecard Vote
H.R. 14104. The vote is on the Duncan amendment to exempt the Tellico Dam in Tennessee from the requirements of the Act. Ironically this exempted Tellico from a process which had been created specifically to deal with it. Congress had already amended the Endangered Species Act once in response to the Tellico Dam controversy, and created a seven member Cabinet level commission to settle conflicts between endangered species and projects. The Commission is composed of the heads of the top level federal agencies dealing with natural resources and the Governor of the state in which the project is located. An agency with a project in conflict can bring its case to the Commission and ask for an exemption. In this case the Commission sided with the snail darter against Tellico, probably because the project is a boondoggle in the first place. It would destroy thousands of acres of farmland, yet bring almost no jobs or economic benefits to the area. By exempting Tellico from the new procedure, the amendment gutted the intent of the Endangered Species Act and set a precedent for more votes to exempt other projects. Adopted 231-157. October 14, 1978. NO is the correct vote.