Statement: Congress Should Strike Proposed Ban on DoD-DoE Collaboration

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Bonamici, Smith, and Peters offered an amendment to H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, to strike language that would prevent the Department of Defense from working with the Department of Energy to develop biofuels for military use.

The Truman National Security Project has publicly opposed that ban since it was introduced, with a letter to the leadership of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on April 21, and an op-ed in The Hill on April 24.

In response to the proposed amendment, former U.S. Army Captain and Truman Project Executive Director Michael Breen said:

“We applaud Reps. Bonamici, Smith, and Peters for their leadership on this issue. Our military needs the freedom to develop and select fuel sources based on cost, efficiency, and the needs of the mission – not politics. The language in H.R. 1806, as it stands, would prevent the DoD from working with the DoE to meet its energy needs through biofuels. This shortsighted and arbitrary restriction would be a strategic misstep for America’s national security. We hope the rest of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will heed the advice of the military and accept their colleagues’ amendment to strike this language from the bill.”

On April 24, Breen wrote an op-ed for The Hill imploring Congress not to jeopardize military readiness and “constrain military-driven innovation.”

Breen also joined retried military leaders in signing an April 21 letter from Truman’s Operation Free campaign, a nationwide coalition of veterans fighting climate change, to the chair and ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, urging them to withdraw the proposed ban. On May 19, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer cited the letter in his statement opposing the bill.

The Truman National Security Project unites next-generation veteran, political, and policy leaders to develop and advance strong, smart, and principled solutions to America’s global challenges.


# # #