Hoeven Presses Army Secretary to Focus on Mission, Stop DoD's Environmental Rule for Federal Contractors

Senator Leading Legislation to Block Defense Department’s Green New Deal Mandates

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, this week pressed U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth to drop the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) proposed rule imposing a new environmental rule on federal contractors, both large and small, that would ultimately drive up costs for our national defense.

“The Biden administration is putting emissions above our missions, and prioritizing environmentally-friendly bombs and missiles over our national security,” said Hoeven. “The Defense Department should be focused on the effectiveness and cost of our weapons systems, not emissions standards. This proposed regulation needs to be dropped to ensure that we are providing our soldiers with the best equipment possible to defend our country.”

The DoD’s proposal would require those receiving more than $7.5 million in federal contracts to provide a detailed accounting of greenhouse gas emissions within one year. Additionally, the rule would require those receiving more than $50 million in contracts to develop reduction targets within two years. The proposed rule was published in November and the comment period for the rule ended in February. The administration has not yet issued the final rule.

Earlier this year, Hoeven introduced the Focus on the Mission Act (S.27), legislation to stop the DoD from imposing the rule. Hoeven previously sponsored this legislation in the 117th Congress and intends to lead legislation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rescind the rule should it be finalized.  

In December, Hoeven led all of his Republican Senate colleagues in pressing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to rescind the rule and outlining 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 DoD; and the potential use of environmental reports in awarding future contracts. 

During the hearing, Senator Hoeven also emphasized the importance of a strong defense industrial base, to support the modernization of U.S. forces and to enhance the capabilities of U.S. allies and partners overseas.  This comes after Senator Hoeven traveled to South Korea and Taiwan where he reviewed U.S. defense relationships in the Indo-Pacific region and ways to enhance deterrence against aggressive regional actors like North Korea and China.