Insiders: GOP Won’t Stop Pentagon’s Green-Energy Push
by Olga Belogolova (National Journal) Republicans in both the House and Senate this year have proposed cutting funds for alternative-energy programs in the defense authorization bill. But these efforts won’t gain much traction, National Journal’s Energy & Environment Insiders say.
More than 70 percent of Insiders say that the Defense Department’s move to use more biofuels will survive congressional opposition, arguing that lawmakers will have trouble saying no to the Pentagon.
“Despite the GOP’s overzealous pursuit to end any program that doesn’t line the pockets of big oil, this program likely survives because DOD doesn’t actually answer to Congress,” one Insider said.
In particular, arguing in favor of cutting military biofuels spending becomes an uphill battle when Pentagon officials, military veterans, and former lawmakers are saying that the spending is needed to save lives in war zones.
“The biofuel initiatives aren’t all about greener energy, but ways to meet energy requirements in the field that put fewer lives at risk (particularly in convoys). If biofuels can improve operations in the field, the work will continue,” one Insider said.
Pentagon officials have long argued that alternative energy can save both money—by reducing dependence on oil—and lives, because American fuel convoys are often targeted in attacks.