Hoeven Votes With Democrats For Expensive Military Green Energy

john hoeven

We are a nation that’s more than $16 trillion in debt, and running an annual budget deficit of well over $1 trillion. Our national credit rating has already been downgraded once because of debt deficits, and we’re well on our way to a second downgrade.

So a provision in a defense bill that would have prohibited the military from using expensive biofuels (like the “green fuel” the navy was using that cost $26/gallon, four times more than the traditional fuel they were using), unless they’re cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives, makes sense. We need to tighten belts, not squander more money on green energy pipe dreams.

Unfortunately, a Democrat-led effort in the Senate has deleted this provision out of the defense bill, and a number of Republican Senators (including North Dakota’s own John Hoeven) helped them do it.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has given the green light to the Pentagon’s investment in green energy.

By a vote of 62-37 on Wednesday, the Senate deleted a provision from the defense bill that would have prohibited the military from spending money on alternative fuels if the cost exceeded traditional fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil.

The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado.

Here’s the vote tally. Democrat Kent Conrad voted yes, which isn’t surprising. Conrad may try to portray himself as a deficit hawk, but he’s a free-spending, tax-hiking liberal and always has been.

But what’s frustrating is that Senator John Hoeven joined Conrad on this vote, as did a number of other Republicans (South Dakota Senator John Thune voted yes too).

No doubt they did so to placate the biofuel lobbyists. Both Hoeven and Thune represent a lot of corn growers, and the government is one of the biggest customers for corn-based biofuels. But that’s no excuse.

Republicans are doing a lot of soul-searching right now, wondering why they aren’t gaining more traction against Democrats in elections. Maybe it’s because of votes like this one which prove that it’s hard to take Republicans seriously when they talk about fiscal discipline.

Shame on Hoeven and every other Republican who voted yes on this bill.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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