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Global Warming Analysis by Defense Dept. set to Pass House

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) announced today that the House included a provision in the primary defense policy bill requiring the next National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy and Quadrennial Defense Review to include consideration of the risks posed by global warming to current and future Department of Defense facilities, capabilities, and missions. The provision was derived from the Markey-Bartlett Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act, H.R. 1961, which was introduced last month.

Rep. Markey said, "Long-term planning for all possible threats is an integral part of our national security preparation. For the Department of Defense to include the impacts of global warming in its regular strategic reviews is a natural and necessary step in light of the broad threats that global warming could pose to our military facilities, capabilities, and missions."

Today's action on the House Floor follows close on the heels of a debate over language, also derived from the H.R. 1961, in the House's intelligence policy bill that authorized a National Intelligence Estimate to assess the impacts of global warming on U.S. national security. During late-night debate on the intelligence bill, the House soundly rejected an amendment to strip the Markey-Bartlett language by a vote of 185 to 230. The underlying bill passed with a vote of 225 to 197.

Rep. Markey's inaugural hearing last month as Chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming focused on the nexus between global warming and geopolitical conflict. It featured General Gordon Sullivan, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, who presented a report by eleven retired three- and four-star generals and admirals arguing the global warming is a grave national security threat, and must be treated as such by our defense establishment and by the Congress. General Sullivan followed his testimony with a letter to Rep. Markey endorsing the Markey-Bartlett legislation requiring an NIE assessing the possible security threats presented by global warming.

"Thinking about global warming as a national security issue is new for many of my colleagues in Congress, but the speed with which the major provisions of the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act have been adopted by this House makes me confident that Congress is starting to change how it thinks about global warming," concluded Markey.

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