Several Republican representatives have proposed changes to the National Defense Authorization Act to try to stop the electrification of the Pentagon.
The proposals sound so astonishingly stupid that they look like they were written by 19th century Luddites or the fossil fuel industry itself.
With the US military operating a fleet of hundreds of thousands of vehicles, including tactical vehicles, that makes the Pentagon the largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world.
The entire transportation industry is currently transitioning to electric propulsion, and the US military knows better than to stand still.
Last year, the US Army said it is going electric and wants to be zero by 2050. We also recently reported on a new GMC Hummer EV-based military vehicle program.
As part of this transition, the Pentagon is expected to use some of its budget, which is dictated by the National Defense Authorization Act, for electric vehicles.
But now three Republican representatives have filed changes to the law to slow or even stop the US military from buying and using the vehicles.
The Washington Post summarized the proposals:
- A change from rep. Scott Perry (Pa.) would ban any research and development funding from being spent on projects involving electric cars, electric car charging infrastructure or photovoltaic technology.
- Another change from Perry would bar the Biden administration from invoking the Defense Production Act to boost EVs, EVs, EV charging infrastructure or critical minerals used in EVs.
- A proposal by Rep. Lauren Boebert (Colo.) would require the Defense Department to terminate any contracts for electric non-combat vehicles.
- A proposal from Rep. Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.) would authorize soldiers and civilians at the US Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona to use non-electric vehicles.
Representative Gosar commented on his initiative:
The military is no place to experiment with unproven technology. The combat readiness and training of soldiers and equipment is jeopardized by the forced use of electric vehicles. Furthermore, the AC equipment in the EV units does not work in the desert heat, which poses a health risk to personnel.
The House is expected to debate this year’s National Defense Authorization Act this week.
These suggestions are absolutely ridiculous.
“Untested technology,” really? Electric vehicles are over 100 years old, and there are currently millions of electric vehicles on the road globally.
The defense is also exactly the place to “experiment with unproven technology.” They have many programs that exist just to do that. Banning “any research and development funding from being spent on projects involving electric cars, electric car charging infrastructure or photovoltaic technology” sounds like something a Luddite would write.
The military certainly needs to do research and development on tactical electric vehicles, but some of these proposals would even prevent the Pentagon from purchasing electric vehicles for its regular vehicles, which consists of a fleet of over 150,000 vehicles.
It’s so stupid. This technology is not only proven, but it is also a better economic decision than gas-powered vehicles due to the much lower operating costs.
If any of these geniuses are your representatives, I would suggest voting them out at the first opportunity. They are either Luddites, sold out to the fossil fuel industry, or have fallen for propaganda from the fossil fuel industry – any of which should be a deal breaker for an elected official.
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