Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday that she was in favor of the military switching to electric cars only by 2030.
Granholm said she still believed in the Biden administration’s plan during a meeting for the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) asked her if the plan would make the military less effective. Granholm said she did not think so. She claimed that going electric would make the fossil fuel industry less vulnerable to problems around the world.
She said, “I do not think that reducing our reliance on volatile fossil fuels that are traded around the world, where we know that events like the war in Ukraine can drive up prices for people back home, is a step toward energy security.” “I think we have energy security when we have a lot of clean energy that is made here at home.”
In fact, White House officials have said for the past two years that the federal government should use more green energy in general, including electric cars. In a speech last year, President Joe Biden promised that his government would “start the process where every vehicle in the United States military” would become “climate friendly.”
“You know, like I said, I think this crisis is a real chance,” he said. “A chance to do things we’ve always wanted to do, and now it’s so clear.”
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said the same thing about the military’s climate mission two years ago. She said that building a “zero emissions non-tactical vehicle fleet” and improving “energy use in our tactical vehicles” are both needed. She said, “Electrifying tactical vehicles, starting with hybrid electric technology, has the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but it should also give us a lot of operational power.” “Electric cars are quiet. They don’t get very hot and have a lot of power. They are also easy to maintain because they have fewer working parts. They could cut down on supply needs, and all of these things can give our troops an advantage on the ground.
Electric cars still need filling stations, and some people think they are less stable than cars with internal combustion engines. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) proposed a bill last year that would require at least 75% of the Defense Department’s 174,000 non-tactical vehicles to be electric or have no emissions. This is because the agency is responsible for most of the government’s yearly emissions. But the bill didn’t say anything about putting batteries in combat trucks.
Senior officials in the Biden administration worked toward similar goals in other government departments, like the Postal Service, which will buy 66,000 electric cars by 2028. The government has set a goal to buy only light-duty cars with zero emissions for the federal fleet by 2027. By 2035, this standard will apply to all federal vehicles.
The Biden administration has set up a “whole-of-government effort” to reduce carbon emissions and encourage the use of green energy. They have also put in place new rules for gas stoves, air conditioners, and mobile homes that limit the amount of pollution they put out.
The EPA recently suggested new rules for vehicle emissions that would encourage more people to buy electric cars. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 56% for light-duty vehicles and by 44% for medium-duty vehicles. The rules would try to change the way the market works so that by 2032, most new sales of light-duty vehicles and almost half of new sales of medium-duty vehicles are electric vehicles.