1979 Scorecard Vote
H.R. 4985. The bill reported by the House Commerce Committee was considered a disaster by environmentalists. It allowed the Energy Mobilization Board to waive substantive environmental laws in order to expedite an unlimited number of energy projects. Later this was modified to allow the President and Congress to get involved in decisions regarding a waiver. But the EMB, acting alone was also given the power to take over the decisions normally made by other agencies in determining how the law applied to various energy projects. The vote is on the Udall substitute, which allowed waivers only for procedural laws, and required the EMB to take an agency to court to enforce its deadlines before it could preempt the decisions made by that agency. It also set a limit of 75 energy projects that could use these Òfast trackÓ procedures. Environmentalists would have preferred no bill at all but they considered the Udall bill much the better alternative and made it a top priority lobbying effort. The Commerce Committee bill would allow a handful of Presidential appointees to override protective mechanisms that conservationists have fought for decades to put in place. The Carter Administration opposed the Udall substitute. This vote is given double weight in scoring. Rejected 192-215. November 1, 1979. Yes is the correct vote.