1979 Scorecard Vote
S. 1403. This vote is on final passage of Senator Byrd's bill to gut the national strip mine Act. The bill would have delayed protections on federal lands and compliance deadlines under the 1977 Act. But by far the most damaging provision would have exempted state governments from having to obey the tough regulations written by the Office of Surface Mining. Instead the state programs need only conform to the law itself. This would have made it difficult if not impossible to get uniform, timely enforcement of the law. The federal regulations have already been tested in court, and won. Under this amendment each of the 24 state programs would have to be challenged in a different court within that state, perhaps with different results. Historically the enforcement of state strip mining laws has been very weak, and without a strong federal role the state programs set up under this bill would also be weak. The Carter Administration opposed the bill. September 11, 1979. Passed 68-26. NO is the correct vote.