Republican Rep. Bill Johnson grilled Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm over the Department of Defense’s push for an electric non-tactical vehicle fleet by 2030.
“So, Madam Secretary, I’m trying to connect the dots, are you telling us that dependence on globally traded fossil fuels is too volatile and dangerous for our military, therefore, we should electrify, but somehow make our military dependent on other globally traded commodities, and enormous additional amounts of lithium, cobalt and rare earths is an improvement of some kind?” Johnson asked Granholm during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee on the Department of Energy’s budget request. (RELATED: ‘It’s China’: Biden Interior Secretary Flunks Hawley’s Quiz On Who Dominates Critical Mineral Production)
The Army committed to fully electrifying its fleet of light non-tactical vehicles by 2035, with hybrid vehicles filling in the gap from 2027, according to the Army’s 2022 Climate Strategy. Granholm told the Senate Armed Services Committee during an April 26 hearing she backed an effort to make every one of the Department of Defense’s non-tactical vehicles an electric vehicle by 2030.
Granholm claimed that she wasn’t pushing electric vehicles but was agreeing with the military’s goals.
“I don’t want a filibuster, I want you to answer,” Johnson said, cutting Granholm off and reminding her of what her testimony in April.
“Would you agree that these critical minerals are, in fact volatile and controlled in many cases by unfriendly nations like China and could become scarce in a conflict?” Johnson asked.
Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August, which included a tax credit for electric battery production, which requires lithium and cobalt, according to CNN. China is expected to control 32% of the world’s lithium supply and 44% of the world’s cobalt production by 2025, according to the Institute for Energy Research.
Despite Biden’s push for more electric vehicles, the Environmental Protection Agency made a determination Jan. 31 that would block the mining of 1.4 billion tons of copper, gold, molybdenum, silver and rhenium in Alaska in order to protect salmon.
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