Republicans try to stop military’s electrification with mind-bogglingly dumb proposals

Several Republican representatives have proposed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act to try to stop the Pentagon’s electrification.

The proposals sound so mind-bogglingly dumb that they look like they were written by 19th-century Luddites or the fossil fuel industry itself.

With the US military operating a fleet of hundreds of thousands of vehicles, including tactical vehicles, it makes the Pentagon the largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world.

The entire transportation industry is currently transitioning to electric propulsion, and the US military knows better than to be left behind.

Last year, the US Army said that it is going electric and wants to be net-zero by 2050. Also, we recently reported on a new GMC Hummer EV-based military vehicle program.

As part of this transition, the Pentagon is expected to use some of its budget, which is dictated by the National Defense Authorization Act, toward electric vehicles.

But now three Republican representatives have submitted amendments to the act in order to slow down or even stop the US military from purchasing and using vehicles.

The Washington Post summarized the proposals:

  • An amendment from Rep. Scott Perry (Pa.) would prohibit any funding for research and development from being used on projects involving EVs, EV charging infrastructure, or photovoltaic technology.
  • Another amendment from Perry would prevent the Biden administration from invoking the Defense Production Act to boost EVs, EV batteries, EV charging infrastructure or critical minerals used in EVs.
  • A proposal from Rep. Lauren Boebert (Colo.) would require the Defense Department to terminate any contracts for electric non-combat vehicles.
  • A proposal from Rep. Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.) would authorize soldiers and civilians at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona to use non-electric vehicles.

Representative Gosar commented on his initiative:

The military is no place to experiment with untested technology. The combat readiness and training of soldiers and equipment is jeopardized by the compelled use of electric vehicles. Further, the AC equipment in the EV units do not work in the desert heat, constituting a health risk to personnel.

The House is expected to debate this year’s National Defense Authorization Act this week.

Electrek’s Take

These proposals are absolutely ridiculous.

“Untested technology,” really? Electric vehicles are over 100 years old, and there are currently millions of electric vehicles on the roads around the world.

Also, the military is exactly the place to “experiment with untested technology.” They have plenty of programs that exist exactly to do that. Banning “any funding for research and development from being used on projects involving EVs, EV charging infrastructure, or photovoltaic technology” sound like something a Luddite would write.

The military certainly needs to do research and development on tactical electric vehicles, but some of those proposals would even prevent the Pentagon from buying EVs for its regular vehicles, which consist of a fleet of over 150,000 vehicles.

That’s so dumb. That technology is not only proven, but it is also a better financial decision than gas-powered vehicles because of the much lower cost of operation.

If any of those geniuses are your representatives, I would vote them out of office at the first opportunity. They are either Luddites, sold to the fossil fuel industry, or fell for fossil industry propaganda – all of which should be a deal-breaker for an elected official.

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