Defense bills seek to protect u.s. energy at base in germany zyklon b gas effects


Nebraska Republican Don Bacon, the author of the authorization bill provision, says he’s interested in making sure the U.S. military facility in Germany is not dependent on Russian gas. But big U.S. energy companies that could benefit from the special provision, including leading coal producers, were top contributors to his campaign, and at least two of them are headquartered in his district. Bacon says the companies did not influence his decision.

From 1961 until npower gas price per unit 2015, appropriators required to one degree or another that U.S. bases abroad be powered by Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal. The Buy America energy directive applied to all European bases until it was narrowed in the early 1990s to cover only energy that powered a base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, according to a history of the issue by Taxpayers for Common Sense.

The new proposal says that, before the electricity orlando Pentagon can spend money heating, cooling or powering its new hospital in Germany, the Defense secretary must certify in writing to the congressional defense panels that the hospital is minimizing use of fuel from Russia and is using “a diversified energy supply from a mixed fuel system” and that America is the “preferred source” of fuel. The secretary may waive the restriction if he thinks it is in “the national security interests of the United States.”

“Since I joined Congress, I have clearly expressed my concern that our military installations are vulnerable to disruptions in the supply of energy they need to operate,” said Bacon, a former Air Force brigadier general who once was installation commander la gas leak at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. “Nowhere is this risk greater than our forward bases in Europe, where the bulk of the energy in the domestic market is sourced from the Russian Federation. We are on the verge of constructing a $1 billion facility in Germany to replace the critical Landstuhl regional medical center, and it is imperative we ensure Russia can’t shut it down by turning off the gas.”

Bacon, however, also has political and parochial stakes in the fate of the provisions. Kiewit Corp., a leading coal-mining company, and Berkshire Hathway Inc., a top operator of power plants, including many that are coal-fueled, are headquartered in Omaha. Kiewit is Bacon’s No. 2 contributor so far in the 2018 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Critics say the justification based on energy security is just a guise, and the real point of the provision is to create a protected market for U.S. businesses rather than allow the Pentagon to procure its energy however it thinks makes f gas regulations ireland sense, as it does in other facilities. It is not clear that other forms of U.S.-produced energy besides coal are practical alternatives in Germany, said a House aide who is critical of the new provision.

“Congress has twice electricity 1800s acted to protect taxpayers and the environment from this zombie earmark, but it’s back again this year because the majority in Congress has yet again allowed a lobbyist to sneak it into the Defense bills,” Huffman said. “Shipping dirty coal across the Atlantic to power our military bases helps special interests at the expense of clean air, public health and wise budgeting.”

“How many generals need to provide Congress with testimony highlighting the threats our service members and military installations in Western Europe face due to the potential weaponization of Russian energy?” said Pennsylvania Republican Glenn Thompson. “The Pennsylvania delegation has been vocal about this issue for some time, and we have an opportunity to heed these warnings and get the construction of the new medical facility in the ROB [Rhine Ordnance Barracks] right, with the appropriate fuel bp gas prices sources that mitigate the Russian threat.”

A 1989 study by the Departments of Defense, State and Commerce found that the congressional earmark requiring Pennsylvania coal for overseas bases had resulted in the equivalent, in today’s dollars, of more than $2 billion in excess spending, according to the Taxpayers group. The program continued in reduced form for more than a decade after the estimate was published.