1979 Scorecard Vote
H.R. 3930. Defense Production Act. The Act used military security as an excuse for giving the U.S. Government the authority to enter into contracts with private companies for the production and commercialization of synthetic fuels from coal. The goal was to produce a million barrels a day, for general fuel needs, on the grounds that a severe fuel shortage constitutes a military threat. In fact, the military establishment has its own petroleum reserves which are adequate to supply its needs. The vote is on the Dingell amendment to limit the definition of energy production in the Act to the energy needed for military defense purposes. This would have prevented the federal government from promoting massive synthetic fuel development for commercial use. Dingell maintained that the fuel shortage did not meet his idea of a national emergency and he was reluctant to give the President such wide-ranging powers. Environmentalists have opposed the massive production of synthetic fuels, because they are less efficient, more expensive, and probably more damaging to the environment than burning coal directly and using scrubbers. They require tremendous amounts of water and would put too much carbon dioxide into the global atmosphere. The Administration opposed the Dingell amendment. Rejected 69-351. June 26, 1979. Yes is the correct vote.