The Congressional Research Service estimates that since 2008 the federal government has spent nearly $70 billion on “climate change activities.”
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe presented the new CRS report on the Senate Floor Thursday to make the point that the Obama administration has been focused on “green” defense projects to the detriment of the military.
The report revealed that from fiscal years 2008 through 2012 the federal government spent $68.4 billion to combat climate change. The Department of Defense also spent $4 billion of its budget, the report adds, on climate change and energy efficiency activities in that same time period.
Inhofe, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued that the expenditures are foolish at a time when the military is facing “devastating cuts.”
“[E]veryone agrees that energy efficiency in the military is a worthy goal,” he said. “In fact, I have been a strong supporter of some of DoD’s alternative energy solutions that are affordable and make sense, including their initiatives on non-algal bio-fuels and natural gas. But forcing our military to take money away from core programs in order to invest in unproven technologies as part of a failed cap-and-trade agenda is not only wrong, it’s reckless.”
Inhofe, who believes climate change is an unproven scientific theory at best and a hoax at worst, expressed concern about recent statements by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressing the department’s focus on making and keeping the military “green.”
Panetta’s comments came just two weeks prior to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the current Defense Authorization bill. During that markup, Inhofe said he plans to “put the spotlight on President Obama forcing his costly green agenda on DoD while [Obama] is gutting the defense budget.” He added his intention to introduce amendments to stop the administration’s green military plans.
“As President Obama’s war on affordable energy wages on there are real threats out there, and, contrary to Secretary Panetta’s remarks, man-made catastrophic global warming isn’t one of them,” Inhofe said.
The Oklahoma senator added that Panetta’s green focus reveals the administration’s true feelings about energy development.
“Secretary Panetta’s commitment of a billion dollars for alternative fuels makes clear that, despite President Obama’s recent change in rhetoric for his re-election campaign, he remains fully determined to implement his all-out attack on traditional American energy development — and the military is one place where he can force it to happen,” he said.
Inhofe noted “drastic” cuts in personnel, brigade combat teams, tactical fighters, and airlift aircraft DoD has undergone in the last four years, along with the cancellation or postponement of specialized ship and aircraft construction.
“Which would you rather have? Would you rather spend $4 billion on Air Force Base solar panels, or would you rather have 28 new F-22s or 30 F-25s or modernized C-130s?” he asked. “Would you rather have $64.8 billion spent on pointless global warming efforts or would you rather have more funds put towards modernizing our fleet of ships, aircraft and ground vehicles to improve the safety of our troops and help defend our nation against the legitimate threats that we face?”
According to Inhofe, Panetta’s focus on greening the military was a direct order from the White House — an order he should disobey.
“President Obama can write press releases for his lackeys but Secretary Panetta has an important job to do and doesn’t have time to be pandering to President Obama’s global warming fantasies or his ongoing war on affordable energy. He has a real war to win,” Inhofe concluded.