Senator Mike Mansfield before the Democratic Conference
September 11, 1975
After yesterday's 61- 39 vote sustaining the President's
veto of the 6-month extension of the Allocation Act, I met with a
large group of Democratic Senators at the request of Senator Jackson
to discuss the question of where we go from here . It was my inten-tion
in any case to call a Conference of all Democrats before taking
any leadership action . I believe, however, the range of options
. -~ '
discussed at that meeting yesterday provides a full spectrum of whe>.t
might now be done to achieve a rational and fair national energy
policy along with or as an alternative to total decontrol. To work
out such a policy, the President would apparently go along with an
extension of controls .
In brief, the four major procedural options are as follows:
(1) Make no further e_fforts to override the President's
position - let the prices rise - enact a real windfall profits tax.
(2) Enact a 60-day extension of the Emergency Allocation
Act but attach to it the eight or nine major energy measures already
passed the Senate as riders.
(3) Enact a 60-day Allocation Act extension (to about
December 1) to permit time for negotiation and freeze for that period
the prices of crude oil as of their August 31, 1975 levels . In
other words, maintain the s·tatusquo throughout the "negotiating
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 50, Folder 72, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
(4) ·Enact a 60-day ex~ension - leave the President's
authority to set prices of old oil on condition that any such ~ew
p~ices can meet the criteria prescribed by the President's own
Executive Orde~s that require economic justification for ~nilateral
price increc.ses .
Let me ·now··endeavo:- ,~to · amplify ~ €ach of- these proposed
courses of action .
First: The option to acquiesce in the President's victory
of yesterday but to go ahead and concentrate on a truly effective
windfall profits tax . This option accepts as futile any effort to
obtain agreement by two- -thirds of the Senate . The President has h ad
his way; . it would be impossible to put:-~together any·: oil. .price poli cy
o-=her than on terms dictated by the A
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