House Votes Down Amendments to Decouple Military from Climate Policy

The House of Representatives on July 13th rejected three amendments to remove climate policies and green energy programs from the National Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 2810. Several dozen Republicans joined the Democrats to defeat each amendment.

By a vote of 185 to 234, the House rejected Representative Scott Perry’s (R-PA) amendment to strip language in the bill to require the Department of Defense to prepare a report on the threats posed by global warming to military bases and what is being done to address those threats. Forty-six Republicans joined 188 Democrats in voting against the amendment. No Democrat voted for the amendment. The sponsor of the language in the bill, Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI), relied on the testimony of Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, that global warming is a serious national security threat and that sea level rise is already a problem at many naval bases.

An amendment offered by Representative Ken Buck (R-CO) to prevent the Defense Department from buying alternative fuels that were more expensive than conventional fuels was defeated by a vote of 203 to 218. One Democrat, Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas, joined 202 Republicans in voting for the amendment, while 32 Republicans joined 186 Democrats voting against it. 

Representative Mike Conaway’s (R-TX) amendment to prohibit the Department of Defense from entering new contracts to purchase biofuels as long as automatic spending cuts were in effect was defeated by a vote of 198 to 225. Four Democrats joined 194 Republicans in favor, while 40 Republicans and 185 Democrats were opposed.

The House Rules Committee did not allow a floor vote on another climate amendment offered by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH). Davidson’s amendment would have prohibited the Defense Department from implementing President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13693, which requires DOD to create a number of climate programs and policies throughout the department. CEI sent a joint letter to the House signed by seventeen non-profit groups supporting the Davidson amendment. President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order 13783 repealed another Obama EO on climate, 13653, but he has not repealed 13693.