tv [untitled] May 9, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm EDT
concerned there is too much money being wasted in the pursuit of alternative fuels where we should be looking to, you know, our stable and available fuel supplies and sources. my concern, though, is that i think we all agree that the ability to find energy independence, to find cleaner ways to be able to produce energy is a quest that we need to undertake. this amendment doesn't appear to allow acquisition and purchasing, producing, for even resaerchd development. i know there's a significant amount that needs to be undertaken. we don't want to find ourselves behind the curve and of the knowledge curve of what alternative energy and fuels might be available. i also have a concern that i've raised with staff about the language in that it says that, that there would be prohibited from producing or purchasing the
alternate fuel that exceeds the cost of producing or purchasing a traditional fossil fuel that could be used for the same purposes as the alternate fuel. i don't see exclusion for nuclear sub means. i know there are diesels. might this require some conversion of you know, equipment that we currently have that is operating with alternate fuel that's not, because this specifically specs fossil fuel. so i do have some concerns about the language of the amendment, and i will highlight the issue of the effects on our research and development activities. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. chair now recognizes gentleman from texas for tiv minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll try to be brief. i just want to remind us, two military facilities designated by d.o.d. to take the lead on alternative fuels and 21st century power, and those are fort carson of colorado and fort bliss, texas, and i think the,
whatever the intent of this amendment, i agree with my colleagues that it sends the very opposite message at a time when we should be looking for ways to enhance our ability to use alternative fuels and less dependent on oil. but the message would conflict with the kinds of things that we're trying to do to get to a point to where we're less dependent on imported oil. so i have those reservations. thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. chair now recognizes the gentleman from colorado, mr. kaufman for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman. i -- i -- i think that probably everybody on this committee supports the government, federal government, engaged in doing research in order to make alternative fuels cost kpeft competitive. where we differ, when they are
not cost competitive and having the united states marine corps, having serves, i certain agree with the gentle lady from guam and from california where they've both said that marines have taken casualties because f of, in afghanistan, because of convoys. but those convoys would occur whether or not we're moving biofuels or whether we're moving traditional fuels. we have made some in-roads on, although at the margins in terms of solar power for troops in the fields to, for things like recharging batteries. and some, providing some basic heat, but the -- we should mo move -- we should mandate the military to move to biofuels when it's cost competitive to do so, when it's in the interests of the military and the taxpayers to do so and not for some alternative ideological belief that we ought to do so irrespective of costs.
with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. ritzal for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will be supporting the gentleman's amendment, and i share a deep commitment to reducing our country's dependence on foreign sources of oil. indeed that's been a principle objective of my public service, and i do fully acknowledge and speak about this often, about the connection between our failure to become energy independent and the risk that we put our young men and women in, in defending our sources of energy. that, in my mind, is not in dispute when our money's going to folks like hugo chavez and the prince in the royal family in saudi arabia. some of that money in disputably ends unin madrass in pakistan, and that's the well spring from which many of the taliban fighters are really created, and
end up fighting our young men and women. so i see and acknowledge the connection. my view is this -- it's that we've got this in the wrong, at palestinian mum, in the wrong agency. wrong department. it should be in the department of energy. this type of research. i believe we've unwisely expanded the scope and the mission of our department of defense. we've got them doing a whole range of things now, and this is the latest one. so i think that it would be best if -- if the department of defense were tightly focused on raising up an army, a navy and air force, clearly, just focused on just that mission and not expanding it to move the country forward and in energy independence. i do see at the commander in chief has put forth, the president has, in his directive
through secretary salazar full moratorium on coastal virginia energy, despite the expressed will of the governor, myself, representing the coast of virginia, and the house of delegates state senate full moratorium on coastal energy. 18,000 jobs are being held up because of this, and, really, are holding up our ability to become energy independent and i really think the president is off on the wrong track on that. so if we really are concerned about reducing dependence on forring sources of energy we ought to start with just our own domestic supplies as well. so for those reasons i'll be supporting the gentleman's amendment and i encourage my colleagues to do the same. >> gentleman yields back. if there's no further discussion on the amendment, the questions on the adoption of the amendment offered by mr. conaway of texas. so those in favor will say aye. those opposed, no.
the ayes have it. there's sufficient support for roll call vote. it's ordered. we'll call this roll call vote at the end of the subcommittee mark. are there additional amendments -- mr. chairman? gentleman is recognized. >> at the desk. >> the clerk will, please, pass out the amendment. without objection, reading of the amendment will be dispensed with.
chair now recognizes the gentleman for the purpose of offering and explaining his amendments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the energy independence security act 2007 had a late amendment to it that put in seconds 526 which prevents federal government from, government agencies from buying fuels unless they can certify that the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions are less than the alternatives. a direct attack on liquids and prevented us from buying, the federal government buying that. this amendment would exempt the department of defense from 526, not the whole of government, just the department of defense, and allow them to continue to buy, you know, coal to liquids as alternatives, much has been said in the previous debate about how important it is that we have safe and stable sources of fuel and energy from the united states for our military to, get access to and this would
broaden that spectrum and allow imported oil from canada, produced from the oil there and wes al oil shell and oil sands from the united states also. department of defense in 2008 letter to, to the senate on this issue does not believe they c can -- that they even understand if they can comply with this when fuels are planted at a refinery, they're not sure which what you're buying, based on those. so this was, quite frankly, an ill-suited seconds out of that energy bill and would allow the department of defense to be exempted from that. reduce liability risks from being sued for lack's compliance under 526 and allow access to a broader array of fuels to address the cost spikes that have been talked about earlier. supply spikes, or risks to supply, by being able to use at
a minimum, coal to liquids and tar -- out of canada. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes gentle lady from california for five mithts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to speak on this, but also to mr. conway. i think you mentioned the issue around the convoys and the reality is, that if we can do alternative fuels differently, we don't have the same content that we're talking about. we're trying to be efficient. we're trying to have small amounts of fuel that are, that have to be conveyed from one area to another. and so that -- i just wanted to mention that, because -- >> gentle lady -- >> same volume of fuel. >> one, i think mr. kaufman brought in up, but i'm not sure we're talking about the energy efficiency used in the biofuel.
they don't create as much energy so you have to use more of them, so i'm not sure of what you're talking about. >> referring to volume. i think when you were more energy efficient, can you do things differently. that's all we're talking about is trying to invest in that kind of technology. but i also wanted to point out that section 526 does not prohibit production or importation of alternative or unconventional fuels. it prohibits tax dollars from being used to procure fuels that have a higher global warming pollution emission than conventional fuels. section 526 has not applied to d.o.d. purchases of fuel for military operation. the department does not anticipate that that will change. however, section 526 does provide a useful framework for the development of alternative fuels. so this exemption really is not needed or wanted by the department of defense. and in that regard i would oppose it. i would also yield to the ranking chair, mr. -- mr. smith.
>> gentle lady yields back. the chair now recognizes gentleman from rhode island, mr. langevin, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to the amendment. section 526 basically the federal law states, no federal agency shall enter into a contract procurement alternative synthetic fuel, including a fuel used for non-conventional petroleum sources, et cetera. section 526 does not prohibit production or importation of alternative or unconventional fuels, it points tax dollars from being used to procure fuels that have a higher global warms politician emission than
conventional fuels. section 526 has not applied to d.o.d., has not applied to d.o.d. purchasers of fuel and does not anticipate that will change. however, 526 provides for useful framework for the development of alternative fuels. this exemption is not needed or warranted by the department of defense. clearly, if we are going to continue to be dependent on fossil fuels then you want to support the gentleman's amendment. if you want to look at the -- the future needs, alternative fuel needs or fuel needs of our nation, our military, we have to start somewhere. so i believe that -- that the department should be able to purchase alternative fuel. they should not be exempt from this alternative fuel procurement requirement, and i would oppose the amendment and urge my colleagues to do the same, and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. chair recognizes gentleman from
washington ranking member smith, five minutes. >> thank you. it's a fairly simple straightforward debate here. it's a matter of whether or not you believe burning fossil fuels is a problem and climate change is a problem. if you do, you will oppose this amendment. if you don't, you won't. part of what we're trying to encourage in turn of alternative fuel certainly is to have alternatives for the reasons we debated in the previous amendment, but part of it as well is the environmental concerns what burning fossil fuels means and the impact of that. if we're moving to alternatives that are actually worse for the environment that create more climate change problems which add global instability, then that is a problem. the problem we'd rather not create when we don't have to create. there are many alternative fuels that go in the opposite direction that give us a cleaner environment and help on all manner of different fronts. and those are the ones we should be selecting. i don't think this exemption makes sense. luke i said, it's straightforward. we've all -- i think everybody on the committee at one time or another has had the debate about
climate change, fossil fuels and the impact on the environment. you know where you stand. it's a pretty significant issue in terms of the impact it is having on thor environment and i oppose this because it would undermine attempts to try and get that problem under control. i yield back. >> chair recognizes gentleman from colorado mr. five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and ranking member smith, when you said global instability i just warranted to make a brief quick remark. getting oil sands, petroleum products from canada, i think, promotes global stability, because we're that much less reliant on middle eastern petroleum products. so i would much rather get a canadian prad -- >> would the gentleman yield? >> certainly. >> certainly promotes our stability in that sense. what i was talking about was the fact as the climate changes it is creating all kinds of water problem, problems in parts of the world that are now unable to grow thieir crops, pry for the
people and contributing to instability to other nations. that's the kind of instact i was talking about. not that. >> thank you. to reclaim my time, i think this is good fog our relations to our neighbor to the north. our biggest trading partner in the world, and it makes us that much less reliant on middle eastern oil. for that i think it's a good amendment. i support it and urge its adoption and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think it's one thing to say, we need to diversify -- research fuels, diversify to help our military operate for effectively. so that we have fewer convoys and so forth. i'm all for researching batteries, for example, so that we are freer from the supply chains that limit sometimes our mobility. so -- so doing research, taking
actions that makes our military more effective, more secure, that's one thing. it is a completely another thing, however, to say we are going to reduce our options of fuels for some sort of other agenda. and basically, that's what this is. this is saying we are not going to take advantage of some fuels that could be available to us, including some fuels that will come down as a result of the keystone pipeline from canada, we're going to tie our hands, not do that, because of, of our concern about the environment or some other agenda that's going on, and that-handicaps or military, makes it harder for them to operate. i guess you can say that's a short term versus a long term attitude but i'm pretty concerned about the short term and making sure they have the ability to operate. they have the fuel, a full range of fuels so they have to depend -- we all have to depend less on fuels coming from the middle east and we can roll out more on fuels that come from our
neighbor to the north. and i'm just saying, the department of defense, i would prefer, they not be studying life cycle carbon emissions. they ought to be studying how we're going to defeat terrorism, and developing the plans to do that. sodebate the this before. things that increase our military capability is a good thing. this provision that we're trying to strike limits or military capability and it ought to go away. >> gentleman yeemds back. claire now recognizes the gentleman from washington ranking member smith for five minutes. >> just quickly. this is the debate, as the gentleman from texas said, somewhat derisively, for some sort of other agenda. the other agenda in minds of other people, is the destruction of the planet nap is important to our national security needs.
you can decide for yourself. that our agenda is not relevant, parochial or relatively partisan subpoena it is an important one in terms of the overall planet we all live on. again, i oppose the amendment and i yield back. >> chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. gare me garemendy for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm confused here about what the proponents are proposing here. a moment ago in the preevt amendment they were argues with ought not have alternatives and now are arguing we toot have alternatives. so which way is it? are they going to argue both sides simply to promote the oil industry? i suppose that's what this is all about, and the previous debate they said we ought not be looking at alternatives. now they're looking at alternatives. the bottom line of this is that the pentagon in the last four years has said repeatedly that climate change is a major national security issue. affecting countries around the
world. causing disruption in their food supplies, their agriculture, water supplies and the rest. and so this and so this effort by the united states government over the last six years, five years now, to look at other ways of providing energy in a manner that reduces green house gases, seems to me to be fully in concert with what the pentagon, the department of defense has been repeatedly saying, that climate change is a major national security issue. so, why in the world would we prohibit the pentagon from taking this into account when they purchase fuels. it makes no sense to me at all we would want to limit the options available to the pentagon. and i simply reuse that argument from the previous debate, the previous amendment. so we ought not do this and we
ought to oppose this amendment. >> gentleman yields back. any other -- no further discussion on the amendment. chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia m scott. >> i'll be very brief about it. the last time i checked this was the arm services committee not the environmental committee or the commerce committee. i would go back to what one of the people that works for the navy said that they were trying to develop an industry here that revolved around alternative fuels, and i would just suggest that the sooner the united states government gets out of the alternative fuel business the sooner the american citizens will benefit from alternative sources of fuel. thank you, mr. chairman. i intend to vote for the amendment. >> chairman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentle lady from hawaii for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you mr. chair.
mr. chair, i speak in opposition to this amendment and let me put it into perspective for some of my colleagues. we all know whether you agree with the president or not that the pivot is to the pacific, asia pacific, we've heard many, many sessions in here by many of our military leaders about the concern about the pacific and the rising strength in the pacific. now, what that represents for someone like myself who comes from hawaii, is the fact that you know that our pacific command is housed on the hawaiian islands, we have no, quote, natural resources in terms of fossil fuels, and that is why the development of alternative energy in a very broad definition of alternative energy is not only critical for the stability of the military in the pacific, but also for the united states as well. think about it. we're talking about the housing of our troops in the pacific, that's also a consideration. it's not just the ships or the
jets, it's also where they live. it's the bases. how do we provide the electricity and so forth that's the power that's needed to run those types of facilities. that's alternative energy. hawaii has geothermal. how do you transmit geothermal from one part of the state to the other part of the state and you know that for example an israeli company is who is developing geothermal in hawaii as well. we also have to look at ocean, the wave action. the marine corps air base is saying that they will be totally sustained by the year 2020. we've heard the military leaders say that the navy and marines will be sustained 50% by 2020 but in hawaii the projected goal is 100% by the year 2020. so why would you stand in the way of that type of advancement. why would you not want to see us
completely sustained in that period of time. focus on the fact that this is going to be the arena, asia pacific is the arena, and, to meet our goals and obligations to our allies in the area and if you truly believe that's where it's going to be, then you cannot have an amendment like this because by having an amendment like this you are going to set us all back. and we are all going to collectively lose because the asia pacific is where we must focus. that is where china is. that is where the rising threats are. so that anything that we can do to be sustained in that area we should all work collectively toward. thank you, mr. chair, i yield back the balance of my time. >> any further debate on the amendment? hearing none, the question is on the adoption of the amendment
offered by mr. conway and mr. thornberry. from texas, in favor aye. those opposed no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. there is sufficient support for roll call vote. we'll call this roll call vote at the end of the subcommittee mark. chair now recognizes mr. forbes for the purpose of offering a nonblocked amendment. the gentleman will suspend, the clerk will pass out the amendment. i ask unanimous -- excuse me. mr. forbes. go ahead. >> mr. chairman i ask unanimous concept. >> thank you. >> without objection so ordered. will the clerk pass out the amendments to be offered in block, the reading will be dispensed with.
>> gentleman is recognized for five minutes for the purposes of offering and explaining is on block amendments. >> i call up on block package 2 comprised of an amendment by mr. mill tear clarify the jurisdiction of the epa with regards to ammunition containing lead components, and amendment by mr. aiken to require minimum safety and security standards for d.o.d. shipping sensitive defense material via commercial shippers. >> any further debate on the on block amendment? if not the question is on adoption of the amendment offered by mr. forbes, in favor,
>> chair recognizes gentleman for the purpose of offering and explaining his amendment. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, uner its terms and conditions and government mandated plas discourage competition from qualified nonunion contractors and skilled employees who represent 86% of the u.s. construction work force according to bureau of labor statistics data. studies have found that pla mandates increase the cost of construction between 12% and 18% compared to similar non-pla projects subject to prevailing wage laws. this amendment ensures fair, open and competitive bidding by
all qualified businesses competing for federal construction contracts authorized by the -- ndaa. a government mandated pla is a contract in which the government requires contractors to negotiate a prehire collective bargaining agreement, with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project. plas typically restrict the majority of employment to only workers whom unions are willing to send to the project. plas negatively impact non-union companies and their employees, small businesses and other disadvantaged businesses that are frequently excluded or discouraged to compete for these contracting opportunities. the language in this amendment ensures the construction projects in the ndaa are built using a procurement process that will assure maximum competition and taxpayers agencies will