Congressman Perry wants climate change reporting cut from defense budget

Written by Rick Lee/The York Daily Record | Jul 13, 2017 7:52 AM

U.S. Congressman Scott Perry (Photo: File)

(Undated) -- Republican midstate Congressman Scott Perry says his call to cut climate change reporting from the $695 billion defense budget for 2018 has nothing to do with climate change. 

Instead, Perry, R-Carroll Township, said, his concern over funding the defense budget is what prompted his proposed amendment to the defense bill.

The Secretary's report also is to include contingency plans to address climate change threats to the military and its installations.

The budget resolution notes that Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Government Accountability Office all have voiced concern about the potential crippling effects of climate change on the military.

On Wednesday, Perry said in an email that the climate change reporting requirement "detracts from the essential mission of the Department of Defense and is best left to the agencies best suited to deal with these issues.

"My goal with this amendment is to prioritize our limited defense resources on efforts that pose an immediate and direct threat to our national security.

"A litany of other federal agencies deal with environmental issues."

Meanwhile, Democrats and climate change proponents took the opportunity to criticize Perry for his amendment.

Anita Baffoni, a spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Langevin, D-RI, who introduced the climate change reporting requirement, told The Post Star on Monday that "Congressman Langevin intends to vigorously fight this amendment on the House floor."

Pennsylvania environment blogger Jan Jarrett posted that "Rep. Perry is trying to prevent the military from studying how climate change will affect military installations and readiness."

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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