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Angus King has sponsored a bill aimed at reducing the military's oil use and carbon emissions

Angus King
Andrew Harnik
AP file
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, speaks during a Senate Rules and Administration Committee oversight hearing on the Jan. 6, attack on the Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

The U.S. military is the biggest petroleum consumer in the world. A new piece of federal legislation aims to reduce that fossil fuel use, and limit the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine is among the sponsors of The Military Fleet Electrification Act, introduced in the Senate on Monday.

It would require that three quarters of new nontactical vehicles purchased by the Department of Defense be zero-emissions vehicles, such as electric cars and trucks. Further, all of their components, including batteries, must be sourced from the U.S. or its allies, and specifically not from China or Russia.

"The Department of Defense is the largest purchaser of petroleum products on Earth," King says, "and we're trying to make a dent in that, and this is one way to do it."

A recent analysis by the Biden administration found that the Department of Defense contributed more than half of the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions. King says this bill would not only reduce those emissions, it would wean the Defense Department off of expensive fossil fuels and save taxpayers money.

The bill could be included as an amendment to the defense spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act. Otherwise, King says he hopes to bring it to the floor as a standalone bill later this year.