Defense spending bill would allow dirtier fuels

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2016

In a continuation of recent Republican strategy, the House’s defense spending legislation would allow the Pentagon to spend money on heavily polluting fuels.

The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee released a bill last night that would exempt the military from Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which prohibits federal agencies from purchasing fuels with a larger greenhouse gas footprint than traditional petroleum.

Section 526 has been a frequent Republican target in defense-related legislation. Lawmakers included similar language in last year’s defense appropriations bill, but negotiators yanked it out of the final omnibus spending package.

Authorizing panels have also set their sights on the provision, particularly in the House, but the language has not survived the conference committee process (Greenwire, July 13, 2015).

Republicans have said that applying Section 526 to the Defense Department works against national security by restricting the military’s fuel options.