1979 Scorecard Vote
HR 2335. The vote is on passage of the bill to authorize $25 million for more research on the solar satellite without waiting for the results of an earlier study to be completed in June 1980. Environmentalists oppose the solar satellite because it is outrageously expensive and could cause health threats from microwave radiation. They would prefer that they money could be used for decentralized, proven solar technologies here on earth. Proponents of the bill envision 100 giant satellites, each with 50 miles of surface area, 22,000 miles from earth. Their photo voltaic cells would collect solar energy, turn it into microwaves, and beam these down to receiving antennae on earth. The raw materials and workers needed to build the satellite would be launched into orbit and assemble the satellite in space. Each satellite would require from 50 to 500 rocket launches. The plan seems more like a pork barrel program for the aerospace industry than a practical effort to solve energy problems. The Administration opposed the bill. Passed 201-146. November 16, 1979. No is the correct vote.