Defense

November 30, 2012

U.S. Senate green lights Pentagon green energy

On Nov. 28, the Senate gave the green light to the Pentagon’s investment in green energy.

By a vote of 62-37, the Senate backed an amendment that would delete a provision in the defense bill prohibiting the military from spending money on alternative fuels if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. The Pentagon has opposed the provision that a sharply divided Senate Armed Services Committee added in May.

The Navy and Air Force have pushed to use more biofuels to operate its aircraft and ships, with military leaders suggesting a greater reliance on alternative sources in the next decade to ease dependence on foreign oil.

The strong bipartisan vote reflected the growing business of alternative fuels in states such as Iowa and Kansas as well as the Dakotas as 11 Republicans joined 49 Democrats in backing the measure.

The Senate finally began work Nov. 28 on the far-reaching, $631 billion defense policy bill for next year – six months after the Armed Services Committee acted on the legislation and the House passed its version. The bill authorizes money for weapons, ships, aircraft and a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.

The total is $4 billion less than the House-passed bill, and House-Senate negotiators will have to work out the difference in the closing days of the year.

During the debate, Udall pointed out that the Defense Department consumes approximately 330,000 barrels of oil a day and this year, the military has already spent $15 billion on fuel. Based on increased oil prices, the amount is $2.5 billion more than the department had planned and another month remains.

To deal with the rising costs and reliance on foreign oil, the department is exploring alternative fuels.

The Pentagon is pushing for $1.4 billion in next year’s budget for investments in clean energy, including hybrid electric drives for ships, more efficient engines, better generators and solar power.

“As one of the largest landowners and energy consumers in the world, our drive is to be more efficient and environmentally sustainable,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a speech in May to the Environmental Defense Fund. “We have to be able to have the potential to transform the nation’s approach to the challenges we are facing in the environment and energy security. We’ve got to look ahead to try to see how we can best achieve that.”

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma have pushed to limit Pentagon investments in clean energy, arguing that in a time of defense budget cuts the Pentagon can’t afford spending money on green energy projects.

Inhofe has gone further, saying earlier this year that Panetta has a “real war to win, and he should not be wasting time perpetrating President Obama’s global warming fantasies or his ongoing war on affordable energy.”

The Senate bill extends, for one year, the divisive provisions on the handling of suspected terrorists that snagged the legislation last year. The legislation would deny terror suspects, including U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. It also would require military custody for foreign terrorist suspects linked to al Qaeda or its affiliates and involved in plotting against or attacking the United States.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, with the support of conservative Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee, introduced an amendment to the bill that stipulates the government cannot detain a U.S. citizen or legal resident indefinitely without charge or trial even in with the authorization to use military force or declaration of war.

“If we give up our rights, have we not let the terrorists win?” Paul said in arguing for the amendment, which may be voted on later this week.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 25, 2014

News: VA reform bills stalled by partisan bickering - Plans for a comprehensive Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that appeared all but finished a month ago devolved into partisan bickering and funding fights July 24, casting doubt on the future of a deal.   Business: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed announce bids on Danish fighter competition; Saab withdraws -...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>