Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Amendment Forbidding Defense Dollars Being Spent on "Green Energy" Mandates Adopted

June 19, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – An amendment by Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-04) to the Defense Appropriation Bill to forbid defense dollars from being spent to meet the Administration's “Green Energy” mandates was passed by the House in a voice vote.  The Congressman’s remarks in support of the measure are attached:


Limiting Amendments to DOD Appropriations Bill
Green Energy Executive Orders

June 19, 2014


Mr. Chairman:

The amendment before the House forbids Defense dollars from being spent to fund two executive orders and several other provisions of law that require the military to squander billions of dollars on so-called “Green Energy.”

For example, according to the GAO, the Navy has spent as much as $150 per gallon for jet fuel.  In 2012, the Navy purchased 450,000 of biofuel for its so-called “Green Fleet,” at the cost of $26.60 per gallon, at a time when conventional petroleum fuel cost just $2.50.

What taxpayer in his right mind would pay $26 per gallon to fill up his car when next door they’re selling it for $2.50?    

Yet that is precisely what our armed forces are ordered to do – except they’re not just filling their cars – they’re filling entire ships and aircraft.  And this all comes out of our precious defense dollars.

The Air Force paid $59 per gallon for 11,000 gallons of biofuel in 2012 – ten times more than regular jet fuel.

It’s not just biofuels.

The Pentagon expects to purchase 1,500 Chevy Volts, at a subsidized price of $40,000 each – and a production price of $90,000 paid for by other subsidies.

As Sen. Coburn’s office points out, “EACH ONE of these $40,000 Chevy Volts represents the choice NOT to provide an entire infantry platoon with all new rifles, or 50,000 rounds of ammunition that cannot be used for realistic training.”

Under these “green energy” mandates, the Army and Navy have been required to install solar arrays at various facilities.  At Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy spent $21 million dollars to install a 10 acre solar array – which will supply a grand total of two percent of the base’s electricity.  

According to the Inspector General’s office, this project will save enough money to pay for itself in just 447 years.  (Of course, solar panels only last about 25 years).

In Alaska, the Pentagon converted three radar stations from diesel fuel to wind turbine energy.  The Air Force claimed it would take 15 years to pay for itself, but auditors found that the generators produce only “sporadic, unusable power” and the Inspector General charged that the Air Force claim was completely unsubstantiated.

As of 2013, the Defense Department had at least 680 such projects, including 357 solar, 29 wind and 289 thermal energy projects.  

There are several arguments we hear by apologists for these requirements. 

One is that this is actually a cost-saving program.  But as we can see, these orders are running up huge costs.

We don’t know exactly how much because, as the GAO has said “There is currently no comprehensive inventory of which federal agencies are implementing renewable energy related initiatives and the types of initiatives they are implementing.”  But outside estimates are as much as $7 billion for the Department of Defense this year; a figure that will grow every year into the future.

We’re told it is to help protect our armed forces from dependence on potentially hostile foreign sources.  This, from an administration that has obstructed every effort to develop America’s vast shale oil reserves that would make Saudi Arabia look like a petroleum pauper.  The XL Keystone pipeline by itself would bring a half a million barrels of Canadian crude into this country EVERY DAY.

Finally, we’re told the real reason: that this is all a grand strategy to stop climate change, which the Secretary of State has called as big a threat as terrorism.  

I sincerely doubt it is possible to wage an environmentally sensitive war, but even if it were, I think there’s a good chance that the climate will continue to change – as it has for billions of years – whether or not we waste our defense dollars to pay for this quixotic venture. 

But that’s the real reason for this folly – it is an ideological crusade imposed on our military that will pointlessly consume billions of defense dollars, mainly to keep money flowing to politically well-connected “green energy” companies that can’t get anyone else to buy their products.

And the environmental left is willing to squander the resources of our military to do so.

That is a travesty that we can end here and now with this amendment.


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