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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of the Flores amendment that will prevent funds in H.R. 5856--the FY13 Defense Appropriations Act--from being used to carry out Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Section 526 prohibits all federal agencies from contracting for alternative fuels that emit higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions than ``conventional petroleum sources.'' This means that if a federal agency--particularly the Department of Defense--attempts to utilize an alternative fuel that even has one scintilla more carbon emissions than conventional fuels, it is prohibited from doing so. As a result, Section 526 limits innovation from DoD to improve clean carbon capture technologies for alternative fuels, thereby increasing our dependence on foreign oil, and will only further increase fuel costs.

The amendment intends to remove the handcuffs placed on the agencies under this bill by Section 526. This means that the DoD will still be able to purchase Canadian fuels with traces of oil sands that may create more of a carbon footprint than completely conventional fuel.

Mr. Chair, I support a full repeal of Section 526 because the cost of refined product for DoD has increased by over 500% in the last ten years when volume only increased by 30%. Furthermore, within the last month, the U.S. Navy spent $26 per gallon and the U.S. Air Force just spent $59 per gallon for bio-fuels used for the Administration's Great Green Fleet Demonstration while conventional fuel bears less of a cost on the Pentagon.

When defense spending is already facing $600 billion in sequestration cuts, we must find commonsense ways to best utilize taxpayer dollars. This amendment takes a very important step of achieving this goal by prohibiting funding to carry out Section 526 for the upcoming fiscal year at the DoD.

With that in mind, I commend my colleague from Texas--Bill Flores--for his continued leadership on this important issue. I urge this body to support this amendment.

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