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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. It's been argued that section 526 harms our military readiness. This is simply not the case, particularly according to the Department of Defense.

The Department of Defense has stated this month, very clearly, the provision has not hindered the Department from purchasing the fuel we need today worldwide to support the military missions. But it also sets an important baseline in developing the fuels that we need for our future.

DOD, the Department of Defense, supports this section and recognizes that tomorrow's soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are going to need a greater range of energy sources. In fact, the Department says that repealing this section could, and I'm quoting the Department, ``complicate the Department's efforts to provide better energy solutions to our warfighters and to take advantage of the promising developments in homegrown biofuels.'' I would also emphasize the impact it would have on our economy and the creation of new jobs in our economy.

I believe the amendment would damage the development of biofuels, given the fact that the Department of Defense is such a huge procurer of energy, at the worst possible time for our economy. It could send a negative signal to America's advanced biofuel industry and could result in adverse impacts to the U.S. job creation efforts, rural development efforts, and the export of world-leading technology.

I would also emphasize to my colleagues the section does not prevent the sale of fuels that emit more carbon, nor does it prevent the Federal agencies from buying these fuels if they need to.

Government policies should help drive the development of alternative fuels that cut carbon emission, not increase it. I think that's a commonsense approach.

Again, I am opposed to the gentleman's amendment and, I yield back the balance of my time.


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