GOP Lawmakers Take Aim At The Pentagon’s Electric Vehicle Overhaul

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Nick Pope Contributor
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Numerous House Republicans are using amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fight the Pentagon’s plans to accelerate its adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Republicans Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona are introducing various proposals and amendments to the NDAA to stymie the Pentagon’s push to electrify its entire vehicle fleet by 2050. The Pentagon’s EV push has ramped up under the Biden administration, operating under a executive order issued by President Joe Biden mandating a whole-of-government approach to reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Perry’s NDAA amendment would bar taxpayer funding of research initiatives pertaining to EVs and EV charging infrastructure. Another Perry-authored amendment would block the administration from using the Defense Production Act to facilitate EVs, charging infrastructure or the extraction of critical minerals used to build EV batteries.

Boebert’s proposal would require the Department of Defense to terminate any existing contracts for non-combat EVs. Gosar’s proposal would permit civilians and soldiers alike to use standard internal combustion engine vehicles at a U.S. military installation in Yuma, Arizona.

The U.S. Army is aiming to electrify its non-combat vehicle fleet by 2035, and to fully electrify its combat vehicle fleet by 2050, according to a November 2022 report detailing its so-called “climate strategy.”

“The military is no place to experiment with untested technology,” Gosar wrote in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “The combat readiness and training of soldiers and equipment is jeopardized by the compelled use of electric vehicles. Further, the AC equipment in the EV units do not work in the desert heat, constituting a health risk to personnel.”

EV charging and recharging on the battlefield is still a major technical problem for the administration’s military EV push, according to a November 2022 report on the subject by the Atlantic Council. Additionally, pundits and experts have raised concerns that Chinese dominance of the EV supply chain could provide undue leverage over U.S. EV production. (RELATED: ‘Stranglehold’: Tesla Just Showed How China Dominates The EV Supply Chain)

Biden administration officials in the Pentagon and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm have previously endorsed the effort to electrify the non-combat vehicle fleet by 2035 and the entire fleet by 2050. The Pentagon is one of the world’s largest institutional users of fossil fuels, as it operates more than 250,000 combat vehicles and approximately 170,000 non-tactical vehicles, according to the Post.

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