1993 Scorecard Vote
When President Clinton proposed his broad-based energy tax, conservationists supported the administration's position that hydroelectric power should be taxed at the average Btu content of fossil-fired electricity because of hydropower's harmful impacts on the environment. Hydropower projects have contributed to dramatic declines in fisheries, species variety, riparian habitat, and river water quality, and the degradation of recreational areas for canoeing, rafting, hiking, and other outdoor sports enjoyed by millions of Americans.
During the budget debate, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) countered with an amendment to exclude hydroelectric power from the energy tax. Apart from rewarding the use of this damaging source of energy, exempting hydropower would have created severe regional inequities in the energy tax. About one half of the nation's conventional hydroelectric energy is federally-marketed, much of it from federal dams in the West, and much of it is sold far below market rates. The Craig amendment would have exacerbated regional differences over the energy tax, and represented a large added subsidy for hydropower users. Budget Committee Chair Jim Sasser (D-TN) moved to table (kill) the Craig amendment to the fiscal 1994 Budget Resolution, and succeeded by a vote of 57-41 on March 25, 1993. YES is the pro-environmental vote.