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House energy coalition task force pushes to ensure 2025 NDAA supports energy resilience

Rebecca Barnabi
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The House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) Climate and National Security Task Force sent a letter to the House Armed Services Committee yesterday to ensure that the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (FY25 NDAA) supports a robust national defense strategy that prioritizes military installation resilience, fortifies energy security and protects the health and safety of our military personnel.

The letter is led by SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Andy Kim and Katie Porter.

“As we continue to see rising geopolitical tensions around the world, extreme weather is destabilizing our military installations and servicemembers’ ability to respond. We need to take a comprehensive approach that combines clean energy solutions with the innovative technologies of the future to make our bases and installations resilient and secure. Many of the proposals in this letter have bipartisan support and I hope that as we work on this year’s NDAA, we focus on keeping our servicemembers safe and prepare them to the best of our abilities as they meet the emerging challenges we’re seeing around the world,” Kim said.

The Task Force sent a letter to Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Adam Smith of the House Armed Services Committee in support of provisions for a number of key Department of Defense (DoD) programs. That letter can be found here.

“Climate change costs taxpayers billions and jeopardizes our national security,” Porter said. “Investing in climate resilience for our military is the smart thing to do; it will reduce emissions, make our country safer, protect our brave servicemembers, and save taxpayers money. In a time of growing global threats, like worsening natural disasters, it is more important than ever to adopt a robust national security strategy that prioritizes climate action.”

The FY25 NDAA provisions championed by the Task Force would:

  • Enhance the resilience and disaster-readiness of our military installations by:
    • Requesting a briefing detailing the extreme weather and natural disaster-imposed financial damage to military installations over the past four years
    • Requiring each military branch to update its list of top 10 most vulnerable military installations based on the effects of extreme weather
    • Accelerating the planning for and implementation of projects related to military installation resilience, including improving stormwater management and enhancing resiliency outside of an installation’s fenceline
    • Providing a new authorizing funding line for the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership
    • Requiring the DoD to deliver annual updates on what steps the Department is taking to implement resiliency objectives outlined within each installation master plan
    • Requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study of the risks posed to DoD infrastructure and readiness by wildfire
    • Expanding the type of humanitarian assistance the military can provide overseas to enhance resilience amid extreme weather disasters
    • Requesting robust authorization for:
      • Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP)
      • Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI)
      • Defense Operational Resilience Cooperation (DORIC)
      • Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)
      • Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP)
  • Protect and enhance our military’s energy resilience by:
    • Supporting electric vehicle charging infrastructure on military installations
    • Developing a concept of operations for using government-owned battery-operated vehicles as backup power to an installation
    • Enhancing interagency collaboration to establish a program to support or develop a digital battery identification system
    • Supporting the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Pilot Program and requesting the DoD conduct a feasibility review of a future Strategic SAF Reserve
    • Encouraging the DoD to leverage power purchase agreements for 20 years or more that would enhance the utilization of cost-saving forms of electricity
    • Requesting robust authorization for:
      • Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program (ERCIP)
      • Army Office of Energy Initiatives
      • Air Force Office of Energy Assurance
      • Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund (OECIF)
      • Operational Energy Prototyping Fund (OEPF)
  • Safeguard military personnel health and safety by:
    • Requesting a report related to challenges associated with using single-use plastic water bottles and alternative methods for supplying water to military installations
    • Requesting a briefing on the current policy framework with regard to the acquisition and disposal of single-use plastics
    • Supporting the use of single-use plastics in additive manufacturing
    • Encouraging the DoD to expand its efforts to address PFAS contamination and mitigation

The SEEC, established in January 2009, is a coalition of 96 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are focused, active and effective on advancing policies that address climate change, promote clean energy innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, create family-sustaining clean jobs, protect our nation’s air, water, and natural environment and promote environmental justice.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.