t230 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD -SENATE November 28, 1973
'1'11": •• _:n::::·,:c, Y CRISIS
~.1:r . MANSFIELD. Mr. President, with
t:-;£> airlmes decreasing the number of
flights and laying oft' hundreds of pilots.
flight pers01 ,nel. and grounct crews; with
the Defense Department, under the
Emergency Defense Act of 1950. having
allocated to it hundreds of millions of
barrels of fuel; with the arrival last week
of the last oil tanker from the Middle
East, the energy crisis is being brought
closer to home. The developments which
I have just enumerated do not comprise
the whole picture by any means, but are
only indications of things to come.
There is talk of carpools to reduce the
number of automobiles on the road,
thereby decreasing the amount of gas
used, but it is, as yet, only talk. There
is the Alaska pipeline bill signed into law
by the President recently, but it will take
from 3 to 5 years before the oil begins
to flow from the North Slope. There Is
the story in today's newspapers that Secretary
of the Interior Morton will very
shortly call for private bids on six oil
bearing shale areas in Utah, Colorado,
and Wyoming. There is the fact that we
face no more imports of oil from the Arab
nations which indicates that, at the very
least, we face a winter and spring of
shortages; shortages which·may go into
the next year and the next, as well.
The President has indicated that we
can become self-sufficient in energy by
the year 1980, but this Is a debatable
point which only time will prove or
I have advocated the rationing of gasoline
because I think It would be more
equitable for all our people. There has
been talk of an increase in the Federal
gasoline tax from the present 4 cents
per gallon to anywhere from 30 to 40
cents per gallon. This would be most inequitable
because those of us who could
afford it would be able to pay it, but
those of us in the lower- and middle~
income groups would not. It would be
an unconscionable tax.
It appears to me, on the basis of the
crisis which confronts us and which, in
my opinion, will become worse in the
months ahead, that one way to amellorate
our difficulties would be to increase
public transportation facilities. In that
respect, the railroads of the Nation are,
at the present time, being booked to
capacity, and reservations in some areas,
sucl;J. as between New York and Washington,
have, I understand, been placed up
to 3 months. I would hope, therefore,
that immediate attention would be given
to the expansion of Amtrak in all areas
of the country. Then, as airline flight~;
are reduced in number, some of our
smaller cities and towns perhaps taken
oft' airline schedules, and as the use of
automobiles decreases, the void thus created
will, to a limited extent, be filleQ.
EXPANSION OF AMTRAK SERVICE,
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, . a';
Sen.l tors know, I h:tve been campaign,
ng for several years, now. to bring about
the expansion of Amtrak J)assenger train
service in my State of Montana, esp.•cially
around the southern route of t i 1e
old Northern Pacific which now receive-;
3-day- a -week service. About the only
good tr 1g that has come out of the energy
cusls, in my opinion, is an opportunity
for Amtrak to expand and up-
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 49, Folder 35, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
November 28, 19 73 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - SENATE
grade its passenger train service not only
in Montana but throughout the Nation.
I believe that since the beginning of
Amtrak, the people of Montana have
demonstrated that they are willing to
use pa...<:..."t'nger trains if they are offered
efficient sen·tce and updnted and modern
equipment I continue t.o receive reports
about passengers being discouraged by
Amtrak personnel. I hope that this period
1s coming to a halt and that all Amtrak
and railroad personnel '1\ ill pursue with
vigor a renewed effort to build the Nation's
passr nger train service. In Montana,
not c .J..Iy would I like to see daily
service on the southern route as rapidly
as possible, but I think that the current
energy crisis calls for a review and
restoration of service to cities like Helena
and Great Falls, which mwst be
served by spur Jlnes connected With major
routes. Also, some additional attention
must be given to service between
Butw and Salt Lake City formerly provided
by the Union Pacific Railroad.
A recent editorial in the Great Falls
Tribune, one of Montana's largest daily
One t hing seems certain : With the prospect
or limited ga&Ollne supplies for 2 or 3
yee.rs, more travelers are going to consider
the train again when p lanning & trip.
I am in complete agreement, and I
hope that other Members of Congress
will Join me ln asking that Amtrak expand
Its service throughout the Nation
and that the cominittees ln Congress give
full support to Amtrak In any such effort.
MI. HUGH SCOTT. Mr. President,
quite recently I was in Erie, Pa., and I
visi~d the plant of General Electric,
where a number of railroad passenger
cars are belng built, using many American
products, using, indeed, some Canadian
steel, as well. These cars are being
built for the New Haven Railroad,
for Amtrak, and for Metroliner use; and
it bas been very difficult to make sure
that allocations of Federal and other
funds continue for the number of trains
already under construction.
I very strongly support, and have
really ever since I have been in the
Congress. better passenger rail transportation.
I have advocated It and have
Introduced legislation pertaining to it,
for disaster legislation for relief of the
railroads, for legislation to aid the rail
lines and to encourage passenger traffic.
I have supported Amtrak legislation. and
I join With the distinguished majority
le!lder in urging expansion of Amtrak.
It has been successful. My own experience
has been on the New York-Washington
line. Service is prompt, courteous,
and friendly in great contrast with the
old "discourage- the-pa_~.<;enger attltudf,.
which was a very nasty evasion of responsibility
on the part of the railroad.<
in the past. It still continues, I am afra ir
in some areas of the country
Just 2 weeks ago I advocated expam ;m.
of Amtrak from New York to Erie. Pa
to cover the southern tier of New York
counties and the northern tier of Penn sylvania
counties, and on to Detroit and
Chicago as a necessary ald to relieving
some of the pressures on energy which
would be involved in other form~ < J
I would like to see Amtrak given much
broader support. I would like to see some
improvement and extension of Amtrakfor
example, from Philadelphia and
Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, and from Pittsburgh
to Erie. My colleagues from other
States have expressed the same belief.
First of all, we need action on the Midwest
and Northeast bill which will be
coming up shortly. That will be a step
in the right direction.
We need to be sure that the Interstate
Commerce Commission keeps a close eye
on the railroads to make sure that they
do nothing to discourage passenger traffic
that should be promoted. Some ranroads
think that the profit is in freight
cars and the passenger be damned. That
attitude must go.
We have a whole generation of people
who have never ridden on a train. They
would be very happy to do so. I believe
that this would relieve the energy crisis.
Mr. MANSFIELl;J. Mr. President, U
the Senator will yield, the train passenger
service has increased remarkably in
the past couple of weeks. And out in my
part of the country, the service cannot
begin to meet the demand.
I have felt for a long time that the
railroads are, in effect a part of our natlonal
defense system. They are tied most
closely to our security. And as the gasoline
crunch becomes worse, people are not
going to be able to travel as far as they
would like to do.
This would be one way in which the
void could be filled as automobiles continue
to decrease in .numbers on the
road, as I am sure they will, and as the
airlines reduce their schedules, and as
all of these fears which confront us at
the moment come to a head.
This is the time to face up to the need
for an expansion of Amtrak so that it
can become a nationwide service once
again as it used to be in what some of
us refer to as the good old days.
Amtrak is becoming more efficient and
more knowledgeable as to how a railroad
should be run. I would hope that the impetus
would carry forward .
Mr. HUGH SCOTT. Mr. President, I
would give one illustration from the past
as to how alternative modes of transportatiOn
are used in time of shortage.
During World Ws.r II, people believed
themselves to be progressive. They believed
that they should get rid of the
trolley cars. The people In Philadelphia
did not get rid of the trolley cars, and
we had far less trouble then ln Philadelphia
than in those places which did get
nd of the trolley cars.
If we go back to the railroads. people
v. Jil hnve more fun and also more ene1 gy.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 49, Folder 35, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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