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Bill to block Defense Department Green New Deal Mandates

Mississippi U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is one of the bill co-sponsors

Credit: Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith news release

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced she is cosponsoring legislation to stop a U.S. Department of Defense proposal to impose new Green New Deal-like requirements on federal contractors.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Focus on the Mission Act (S.27), which would prohibit the Defense Department from requiring both small and large contractors to submit information relating to direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.

“The proposed rule is another example of an extreme left-wing agenda that, if finalized, will impose undue and costly burdens on those who work every day to provide the equipment and services needed by the men and women who defend our nation,” Hyde-Smith said.

U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) introduced the bill.

“These burdensome regulations would undermine the mission of the DoD, harming our national security and driving up costs for taxpayers,” said Hoeven.  “The Biden administration should rescind this proposed rule immediately, and instead focus on ensuring our servicemembers have the capabilities and equipment they need to counter our nation’s adversaries.”

On Nov. 14, 2022, the Defense Department, in conjunction with NASA and the General Services Administration, proposed the “Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate-Related Financial Risk,” a rule to require federal contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks.  Certain contractors would also be required to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.  The rule would apply to contracts valued at more than $7.5 million, with requirements becoming stricter for contracts exceeding $50 million.

In December, Hyde-Smith joined all Republican Senators in sending a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that called on him to rescind the rule.  Their letter outlined concerns with the proposal, including:
•    The significant regulatory burden in requiring a company to report not only its own emissions but emissions that occur elsewhere;
•    Increased costs resulting in budget inefficiencies at the Department of Defense; and 
•    The potential use of environmental reports in awarding future contracts.

S.27 is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators James Risch (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

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