Inslee Wants Greener Defense Contracts

Just received this press release from the office of U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island. Of particular note is Inslee’s suggestion that Boeing might have an edge in future contracts, the implication that the company might have had an edge and even won the tanker contract it lost to Northrop-Grumman had greenhouse gas emissions been a factor in the Air Force’s decision:

Today, the House is expected to consider two amendments authored by U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) to legislation that would set fiscal year 2009 spending levels for the Department of Defense.

Both are aimed at energy conservation. The first is particularly noteworthy because it could give Boeing an edge in future contact bids by requiring the Pentagon to study using greenhouse-gas emissions as one of many criteria for planning projects and acquiring equipment.

In February, Boeing was denied a $40 billion dollar aerial refueling tanker contract even though its aircraft is 24 percent more efficient than the Airbus product that won the bid. Greenhouse-gas emissions, and other key factors like Airbus subsidies and U.S. jobs, were not taken into consideration by the Defense Department when awarding the contract.

Inslee’s second amendment calls on the Pentagon to look into using power-management software to increase the efficiency of Defense Department computers. Two Puget-Sound area companies – Microsoft and Verdiem – are leading efforts to reduce the cost of running a personal computer with software that keeps them on the proper setting throughout the day.

The so-called defense authorization bill is expected to win approval in the House today, though final passage could be late in the evening. The specific timing for the consideration of Inslee’s two amendments is not yet clear.

Below is the text of Inslee’s amendments.

Amendment to HR 5658 offered by Rep. Inslee


This amendment would direct the Secretary of Defense to study the use of power management software at Department of Defense facilities to reduce the amount of electricity consumed by computers, monitors, and other electronic equipment that contributes to the baseline electric power use.

Amendment to HR 5658 offered by Rep. Inslee


This amendment would direct the Secretary of Defense to study the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions in planning, requirements development, and acquisition processes. Included is the development of what processes and data would be needed to allow DoD to measure greenhouse gas emissions in acquisitions, but it is up to the Secretary how to implement and use the parameter.

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