Rep. Jason Crow Launches Initiative on Climate Change and National Security; Introduces Bill to Address Environmental Resiliency
Crow’s “Sustainable Power Initiative” will bring together experts, lawmakers, government officials, and industry leaders to discuss how to improve military readiness and resilience in the face of climate change
The launch of Sustainable Power comes as Crow introduces a bill to address the threat of extreme weather at military bases
Today, Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06) unveiled “The Sustainable Power Initiative,” a new effort to bring together military, economic, defense, energy, and environmental leaders to discuss how to improve energy efficiency and environmental resiliency at the Department of Defense, the largest consumer of energy in the world. The announcement comes following Crow’s introduction of the Military Installation Resilience Assuredness (MIRA) Act.
The MIRA Act would establish a baseline for understanding the threat of extreme weather to military installations by requiring them to include assessments of weather vulnerabilities and mitigation efforts. It would also nearly double the number of bases that would be required to make master plans assessing the threat, including Buckley Air Force Base in Crow’s district. Finally, the bill would recognize authoritative sources for data for extreme weather projection, a move that comes as the administration continues to delegitimize scientific sources. The bill can be found here.
As part of The Sustainable Power Initiative, Crow will be hosting a series of roundtable discussions in Colorado and Washington, D.C. with experts across disciplines to discuss and help develop policy proposals to improve energy efficiency and resiliency at the Department of Defense.
The Sustainable Power Initiative comes as climate change, overdependence on fossil fuels, and an aging military infrastructure have left the U.S. military and national security apparatus vulnerable. In recent years, extreme weather events have resulted in billions spent for base repairs, such as $3.6 billion for Camp Lejeune following Hurricane Florence. Over 14 years in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is estimated that 52 percent of wartime casualties occurred during land transport missions - predominantly taken to assist with fuel resupply, a result of the military’s dependence on fossil fuels.
“I’ve learned in the Army that the first step of any operation is the need to assess the threat and create a baseline understanding. The MIRA Act allows us to understand the threat extreme weather events pose to our military installations,” said Crow. “By understanding the threat, we can better equip our military to handle our changing environment helping save taxpayers money, improve our military readiness, and - most importantly - protect service members. This measure and the Sustainable Power Initiative are driven by our military’s operational needs and will allow us to help improve energy usage.”
A former Army Ranger who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and member of the House Armed Services, Crow has made energy efficiency and military resiliency at the Department of Defense a top priority. As part of H.R. 9, Crow introduced an amendment to the Climate Action Now Act which reaffirms the Department of Defense’s goal to secure renewable energy across military installations and operations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support military readiness efforts in the face of climate change. A member of the Readiness and Intelligence, Emerging Threats, and Capabilities subcommittees, Crow has focused on the impact of climate change on national security.