The Energy 202: Pentagon Climate Work in the GOP Crosshairs

The Washington Post discusses the Pentagon’s climate policies with Myron Ebell.

The Department of Defense has for a long time now been quietly studying how to adapt to the effects of climate change, even prior to President Obama’s election.

In late June, the GOP-led House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment, introduced by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) to the annual defense authorization bill that directs the Defense Department to assess the vulnerabilities of the ten bases in each service most threatened by the effects of climate change. A three-foot rise in the ocean’s water could submerge 128 U.S. military installations along, one 2015 study found.

The amendment also has Congress in general acknowledging that “climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States.”

The amendment passed committee by voice vote and was sent to the full House. Only one Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), raised concerns during the Armed Services panel hearing.

Other GOP members have produced counter-amendments swinging even harder at the Defense Department’s work on climate change.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) introduced an amendment to the NDAA that would simply strip out Langevin’s language in order to save the department money and keep the Pentagon focused on its “essential mission.”

But an amendment from Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) goes even further, striking down an executive order issued by Obama in 2015 that required the military, a huge consumer of energy, to meet greenhouse-emissions targets.

That proposal received the backing of a powerful coalition of 14 conservative organizations, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose director Myron Ebell led the Trump transition team at the EPA.

“These climate programs and policies have nothing to do with the mission of the United States’ Armed Services,” Ebell and the other organizations’ leaders wrote in a letter to lawmakers. “In fact, many of these programs and policies are likely to undermine military readiness by diverting scarce resources to such things as helping state and local governments to ‘go green.'”

Read the full article at The Washington Post.