Lawmakers challenge green-energy waste forced on military

May 23, 2016
Challenge simmers in Congress to one of the screwier products of the Obama administration's green-energy obsession.

Challenge simmers in Congress to one of the screwier products of the Obama administration's green-energy obsession.

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) has proposed an amendment to defense-spending legislation that would block funding of two executive orders forcing costly choices onto military leaders.

The orders require the Department of Defense to involve what Fleming describes as "a host of climate change bureaucracies" in its acquisition programs, logistics planning, and military plans and operations.

They also make the military help state and local governments with green-energy efforts.

"These activities are simply not the mission of the US military," Fleming wrote recently on a Heritage Foundation blog. "They harm readiness rather than contribute to the lethality of our armed forces."

Fleming, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said the military in 2013 had at least 680 "wasteful green-energy projects...most of which have not met the efficiencies or cost-effectiveness promised."

He cited an estimate by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) that the Navy had to spend $21 million on a 10-acre solar array at Naval Station Norfolk to supply no more than 2% of the base's electricity.

McClinton, introducing an amendment similar to Fleming's to defense legislation last June, noted Government Accountability Office estimates that in 2012 the Navy spent an average $26.20/gal on 450,000 gal of biofuel for its "green fleet," while the Air Force spent $59/gal on 11,000 gal of mandated biofuel.

And in 2014, the California lawmaker said, the Pentagon had to buy more than 1,000 electric-powered Chevrolet Volts at a subsidized price of $40,000 each.

Fleming, McClintock, and others are bringing needed attention to a program that represents little more than wasteful tokenism. It's a program that raises cost and hampers efficiency of a Defense Department otherwise struggling to move the opposite way.

This happens, of course, because the commander-in-chief has made climate change mitigation the guiding standard of decision-making in his administration.

Obama's myopia thrills the activist fringe. To Americans with superior perspective, however, it's just dereliction of duty.

About the Author

Bob Tippee | Editor

Bob Tippee has been chief editor of Oil & Gas Journal since January 1999 and a member of the Journal staff since October 1977. Before joining the magazine, he worked as a reporter at the Tulsa World and served for four years as an officer in the US Air Force. A native of St. Louis, he holds a degree in journalism from the University of Tulsa.