This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) that would have permitted the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to regulate greenhouse gas emissions if the EPA administrator and Secretary of Defense determined that climate change jeopardized national security. This amendment was offered to legislation prohibiting the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Rush urged support for his amendment: “ Just recently, a study by the National Academy of Science, conducted at the request of the U.S. Navy, concluded that climate change will pose a major challenge for the United States Navy in the emerging Arctic frontier. One of the most serious threat analyses was done by a dozen of the country's most respected retired generals and admirals…In this study…these retired generals and admirals concluded that climate change poses a serious threat to America's national security and that the national security consequences of climate change should be fully integrated into national security and national defense strategies. The report goes on to say that climate change, national security, and energy independence all pose a related set of challenges for our military; and these threats should not be ignored or pushed down the road for future action.”
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) opposed the amendment: “I want clean water, and I want clean air. I don't want the EPA shutting down factories that produce and actually produced the largest middle class in the history of the world. Why we would attack that and label that as a national security interest defies even the greatest of imaginations…” Rogers also said: “When you shut down production of oil and natural gas into the United States, we have to import more because we are still driving more.”
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 165-260. Voting “yea” were 165 Democrats, including a majority of progressives. All 239 Republicans present and 21 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have permitted the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to regulate greenhouse gas emissions if the EPA administrator and Secretary of Defense determined that climate change jeopardized national security.