Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe: Jolly "Green Fleet" Throwing Defense Dollars Out to Sea
Washington, D.C. - This week, as the U.S. Navy's "Great Green Fleet" took to the seas for a three day demonstration off the coast of Hawaii, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said that the last thing the Department of Defense (DoD) needs as it faces drastic budget cuts is to be forced by President Obama to waste billions of taxpayer dollars on an outrageously expensive green energy agenda. Senator Inhofe also commented on a conference call regarding the green fleet held today between reporters and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, President Obama's climate chief Heather Zichal, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. A recording of the call can be found here.
"If today's launch of the Navy's jolly 'Green Fleet' was a 'Historic Day for America' as Navy Secretary Mabus claims, it's because it was a historic waste of already depleted defense dollars," Senator Inhofe said. "As the Department of Defense braces for devastating cuts, and as Republicans are focused this week on preventing sequestration from taking effect, President Obama is forcing the Navy to spend $12 million on biofuels at about $27 a gallon. But that's just the beginning: a quietly released DoD report revealed that this great greening will add up to $1.8 billion a year in fuel costs for the Navy alone.
"At today's press conference, both Secretary Mabus and President Obama's climate chief Heather Zichal said that the Navy is going forward with this greening in order to get America off oil - and they didn't specify foreign oil. Their comments are clear: this great greening is not about national security, because no sane national security proposal guts our military and then further depletes it by the forced use of expensive fuel. This is about President Obama's war on oil, gas, and coal and his efforts to impose his failed global warming green agenda on our military. If President Obama were truly concerned about energy security and national security, he would open up America's vast resources for development, ensuring that our military has access to reliable, affordable energy, and he would work with Republicans to repeal Section 526 which currently prevents the military from using fuels that emit more greenhouse gases than conventional fuels.
"In addition to the waste of $12 million for a pointless demonstration at a time when the military can least afford it, the Navy also somehow found a way to fund 'green fleet' souvenir t-shirts and caps with the logo 'Keeping the Earth Green, One Bag of Biofuel at a Time.' Given the price tag of this unnecessary demonstration, what the slogan should really be is: 'Wasting Scarce Defense Funds, One Bag of Tax Dollars at a Time.' They may as well be throwing money out to sea."