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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1585, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. MARKEY. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.

This is a very important bill. Amongst other things it is because for the first time the Department of Defense is required to consider the effects of global warming on Defense Department facilities, capabilities, and missions. It requires that the Department of Defense in three central defense planning documents, the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy, and the Quadrennial Defense Review, look at the impacts of global warming on the facilities and capabilities of the United States military.

This is a central issue. I am the chairman of the Select Committee on Global Warming. We had testifying before us General Gordon Sullivan, representing 11 three-and four-star admirals and generals who are all very concerned that this issue of global warming has major national security implications for the United States.

By including this requirement in this bill, we are beginning to focus upon the long-term needs that we have to focus on in order to protect our country and give the resources to the Department of Defense.

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Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule, and in strong support of a provision within the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 which requires, for the first time, the Department of Defense to consider the effect of global warming on Department facilities, capabilities, and missions.

I commend Chairman SKELTON for including this important language, which will allow our armed forces to begin preparing, in a strategic, Department-wide manner, for the impact that global warming could have on our national security.

This provision requires the threat of global warming to be assessed, and guidance for military planners to be issued, in the next versions of three central defense planning documents: The National Security Strategy, The National Defense Strategy, and the Quadrennial Defense Review.

The very first hearing of the new Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming focused on the geopolitical and security consequences of our dependence on foreign energy and the looming threat of global warming. We heard from former Chief of Staff of the Army General Gordon Sullivan, who presented a report by eleven retired three- and four-star generals and admirals arguing that global warming is a grave national security threat, and must be treated as such by our defense establishment and by this Congress.

Last month, Congressman BARTLETT and I introduced the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act, with the intention of jump-starting our government's analysis of and preparation for the national security consequences of global warming. Our bill would require a National Intelligence Estimate on the impact of global warming, and last week exactly such an NIE was mandated by the Intelligence Authorization bill. Our bill also encourages the Department of Defense to integrate into our defense planning the threats posed by global warming, and I am very pleased that this priority is being mandated in this year's Defense Authorization Act.

Thinking about global warming as a national security issue is new for many Members, but with the speed that the major provisions of the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act have been adopted by this House, I feel confident that the Congress is making progress in broadening how we think about global warming. It is crucial for the national security of this country that the Congress continue along this path. We must push our defense and intelligence communities to address this threat, and we must offer, debate, and implement solutions to the underlying problem.

I am also pleased to support and cosponsor an amendment that will be offered during debate on this bill by the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. LIPINSKI, which would require the use of high efficiency light bulb in Department of Defense buildings when new bulbs are installed or old bulbs are replaced. This amendment will help lower energy consumption in Defense Department facilities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help promote energy independence, and result in millions of dollars of savings for the American taxpayer--all without impeding the operations of the U.S. military.

I urge adoption of the Rule.


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