Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Garamendi introduces Military Vehicle Fleet Electrification Act

WASHINGTON, DC — On Tuesday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA03), chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, introduced the “Military Vehicle Fleet Electrification Act” (H.R.7379), with Representatives Jimmy Gomez (D-CA34) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI12).

This is the first legislation ever introduced in Congress to require the U.S. Department of Defense — the largest institutional consumer of petroleum in the world — to purchase all-electric or zero-emission vehicles.

Garamendi’s bill would apply to all future non-tactical vehicles purchased and leased for the Department of Defense, such as passenger cars, vans, or light-duty trucks. It would not apply to vehicles used in combat or warzones, like Humvees.

“We have a responsibility–as a nation and within our military–to make thoughtful purchases that address the climate crisis,” said Garamendi (D-CA-03). “Transitioning the military’s enormous fleet of passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and vans with internal combustion engines to American-made electric and zero-emission vehicles is a common-sense way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I plan to make this critical legislation a top priority in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The United States Postal Service and other federal agencies must also transition towards an electric vehicle fleet, and I plan to see the military do the same for non-tactical vehicles,” concluded Congressman Garamendi.

In December 2021, the Biden White House published its Federal Sustainability Plan, indicating that 56 percent of the federal government’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from the U.S. Department of Defense. In November 2021.

According to the General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. military currently has more than 174,000 nontactical vehicles across the 5 service branches, including the Coast Guard, and the various defense agencies. That is the second-largest share of the overall federal vehicle fleet, after the Postal Service at more than 225,000 vehicles.

The “Military Vehicle Fleet Electrification Act” (H.R.7379) would:

• For fiscal year 2023 (October 1, 2022) and thereafter, require that all non-tactical vehicles purchased or leased for the U.S. military be electric or zero-emission vehicles, as much as practicable.

• Apply the strongest possible “Buy American” requirements to all non-tactical vehicles purchased or leased for the U.S. military.

• Ensure that electric vehicle components, including batteries, are not sourced from hostile foreign countries like the People's Republic of China or Russia.

• Require that all electric vehicles purchased or leased for the U.S. military employ interoperable charging ports and connectors, per industry standards.

• Apply to both direct procurement by the U.S. Department of Defense and any non-tactical vehicles for which the General Services Administration acts as the procurement or leasing agent, on behalf of the Department of Defense.

• Build upon the $5 billion to convert the federal vehicle fleet to electric vehicles, including non-tactical vehicles used by the DOD, included in the House-passed “Build Back Better Act” (H.R.5376).

National Endorsements: Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and SAFE’s Commanding Heights Initiative, National Electrical Contractors Association, Natural Resources Defense Council; National Mining Association; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).

The full text of the “Military Vehicle Fleet Electrification Act” (H.R.7379) is available here.

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