Eleven Senate Republicans on Wednesday paved the way for the Department of Defense to spend money on alternative "green energy" fuels, even if the cost exceeds that of traditional sources like coal, natural gas, and oil.
Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Dick Lugar (R-IN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and John Thune (R-SD) joined Democrats to pass an amendment by a 62-37 vote that eliminated the provision that prohibited the Pentagon from spending money on alternative fuels if it cost more than traditional sources.
Senators from the Midwest such as Grassley and Moran voted for the amendment because of the "growing business of alternative fuels" in their states.
to the Associated Press, the "Pentagon is pushing for $1.4 billion in next year's budget for investments in clean energy, including hybrid electric drives for ships, more efficient engines, better generators and solar power."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in May told the Environmental Defense Fund that the Pentagon's "drive is to be more efficient and environmentally sustainable" and "transform the nation's approach to the challenges we are facing in the environment and energy security."
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said that the Pentagon could not afford wasting money on green energy projects, especially as sequestration looms. He said since Panetta has a "real war to win," he "should not be wasting time perpetrating President Obama's global warming fantasies or his ongoing war on affordable energy."