University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Thomas R. Carper
Congressional Papers

See below for collection citation and reference information.

I.C.11. Issue Files -- Energy and the Environment, 1983-1992

+ Series I.C.11. -- Scope and Content Note
+ Series I.C.11. -- Contents List

Extent: 3.25 linear ft.

Boxes: 36 - 39

Contents: Legislation, correspondence, news clippings, memoranda, environmental bulletins, reports, publications, clippings, and articles.

Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by issue.


In the 99th Congress (1985), Carper was appointed to the Congressional Task Force on Toxic Emergencies in response to oil pollution liability issues (see Series I.B.2. Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee Work). The Task Force, which was part of the Environmental and Energy Study Conference (EESC), the largest legislative organization in Congress with 283 representatives and 86 senators as members, was charged with examining emergency planning and preparedness by those persons and entities involved with shipping oil. The EESC covered a host of issues and the series contains briefing books and weekly bulletins from 1990-1992 and a few from 1985-1986, the years Carper was a member of the task force. This appointment and Congressman Carper's activities are documented in the files in this series relating to Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) or, as it is commonly referred to, Superfund. Carper worked with Senator Joseph Biden, Jr. (D-Del.) on issues involving CERLA and the community's right to know regarding disposal of hazardous wastes.

Legislation dealing with disposal of low-level radioactive waste is also contained in this series. Beginning in 1986, the fifty states were charged with developing regional compacts which would designate radioactive wastes dumping sites, as part of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy. Prior to the formation of these compacts, low-level radioactive waste sites were located in only three states: Nevada, Washington, and South Carolina. Delaware is now part of the Appalachian States Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact and it was Carper who introduced legislation, H.R. 3025, in 1987, establishing this regional compact. Compacts were formed to ensure that only the participating states were dumping waste in the site which would be located in one of the participating states. The purpose of forming compacts was to alleviate the burden placed on the original three states used for dumping, and to force companies and states to be held accountable for the wastes they produced. It was also hoped the compacts would lessen the amount of waste generated.

Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) are two other major issues in this subseries. Coastal zone management is especially important to Delaware because of the state's extensive coastline and many estuaries and bays. CZM allows states to decide what kind of industry it will allow along its coastlines and waterways. Related legislation, Norfolk Southern/Coastal Barge Transfer, is located in Series I.C.8. Commerce Issues Files. RCRA ("rick-ra") files deal with the community's right-to-know regarding dumping of wastes and alternatives to dumping, such as landfarming. The Clean Air Act is also represented in this series.

Also of importance in this subseries is the National Energy Policy Act of 1991, H.R. 776, the first energy legislation to be discussed in over a decade (see also Series I.B.1. Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee Work). The House approved a draft version of the bill on October 31, 1991. This complex piece of legislation included provisions on issues as diverse as building up U.S. petroleum reserves, to developing and funding alternative fuel sources. Many of the bill's provisions were in response to the recent Gulf War. Provisions of the bill included requiring importers and domestic refineries to supply one percent of their oil for the U.S. reserve; setting energy efficiency standards and fuel economy for automobiles; searching out alternative fuel sources, including nuclear power; and examining domestic regions for drilling, including coastal drilling and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Ultimately, the ANWR issue killed this bill as environmentalists lobbied hard to prevent any drilling in the area, pointing to other areas that had been drilled and still had not recovered, even with the best attempts by the drilling companies. Another major sticking point of the bill was the designation of a nuclear waste site in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, undesirable to environmentalists and Nevadans.

Other issues of interest include logging activities in National Forests and the conflicts of interest among industry, environmentalists and displaced loggers; recycling, an effort of which Carper was a strong advocate; and photovoltaics, or solar cell research, conducted by scientists at the University of Delaware, as an alternative source of energy.

Related Series:

+ Contents List for Series I.C.11. Issue Files--Energy and the Environment

+ Return to Index Page for Thomas R. Carper Congressional Papers

+ Guide to Other Political Papers at the University of Delaware Library

+ Return to List of Manuscript Finding Aids by Title

citation and reference information:

Thomas R. Carper
Congressional Papers

1979 - 1993
(bulk dates 1982 - 1992)

Manuscript Collection Number: 399
Accessioned: Gift of Thomas R. Carper, 1992, 1998-1999
Extent: 84 linear ft. and oversize material
Content: Legislation, correspondence, reports, documents and publications, memoranda, speeches, photographs, audio-visual material, newsletters, news clippings, and ephemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: November 1997 - December 1999 by Rebecca J. Altermatt with assistance from Rob Costello; edited by L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin.

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Last modified: 01/19/11
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