Rep. Cisneros Secures Defense Priorities to Address and Combat Climate Change

June 14, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (D-CA) secured national security priorities to explore the possibility of using recent advances in technological hardware to combat climate change from using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to support fire disaster operations to having DoD to explore the possibility of maintaining plug-in hybrid and electric government vehicle fleets on DoD installations to maintain energy independence and decrease greenhouse emissions. 

“The amendments I secured in this year’s NDAA take the necessary steps to combat climate change and protect future generations,” said Rep. Cisneros. “To ignore this pressing issue would prevent our military installations from improving their base infrastructure with new fuel efficient technologies and reduce their response times to natural disasters like wildfires. Everyone must do their part to confront the climate crisis and these incremental advancements for DoD will ensure they are ready to meet this challenge.”

Rep. Cisneros is a strong supporter of federal action to holistically address climate change.  Last month, he supported H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, and helped advance the inclusion of two amendments in the final bill package.  The Congressman is also a supporter and cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate deployment of zero emission buses, and multiple pieces of legislation protecting our natural resources.

Summaries of key provisions sponsored by Rep. Cisneros are below:

  • Cisneros secures provision addressing DoD installation resiliency in response to climate change: As the Pentagon’s own reports have consistently confirmed, the effects of a changing climate are a national security issue.  Climate change makes our military bases more vulnerable and missions more complicated.  To help mediate some of the problems posed by climate change, Congressman Cisneros secured a provision in the bill directing DoD to explore the possibility of maintaining plug-in hybrid and electric government vehicle fleets on DoD installations.  It also direct DoD to consider building microgrid infrastructure to support green vehicles and secure systems to support them.

Cisneros works with California colleagues to advance amendment supporting California National Guard’s Ability to respond to wildfires exacerbated by climate change: California National Guard has successfully used unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones to support life-saving fire disaster and emergency search and rescue operations.  Drones provide firefighters with a safer method of delivery supplies, determining the scope and path of a fire, and gaining visibility on people trapped in areas of thick smoke.