House Armed Services Dems demand Pentagon offer more complete climate change report

House Armed Services Dems demand Pentagon offer more complete climate change report
© Camille Fine

The head of the House Armed Services Committee is urging acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition — Trump: GOP has `clear contrast' with Dems on immigration Overnight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon Sanders introduces petition to prohibit war with Iran without Congress' approval MORE to revise a study on climate change and its impacts on national security that lawmakers say was incomplete.

Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithLet's talk about education and school choice in 2020 Overnight Defense: Lawmakers on edge over Iran tensions | Questions rise after State pulls personnel from Iraq | Senators demand briefing | House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill | Warren offers plan on climate threats to military House Dems unveil bill to limit Pentagon's ability to transfer military construction dollars MORE (D-Wash.), along with fellow committee members Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinSen King, Rep Gallagher to chair bipartisan commission to defend US in cyberspace Americans mimic Russian disinformation tactics ahead of 2020 Overnight Energy: Pentagon details bases at highest risk from climate change | Dems offer bill to bind Trump to Paris accord | Senate GOP blocks climate panel MORE (D-R.I.), and John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiOvernight Defense: Lawmakers on edge over Iran tensions | Questions rise after State pulls personnel from Iraq | Senators demand briefing | House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill | Warren offers plan on climate threats to military House Dems unveil bill to limit Pentagon's ability to transfer military construction dollars Unchain seniors from chained inflation index MORE (D-Calif.), on Monday sent a letter to Shanahan requesting that he revise the congressionally mandated report, which they said failed to meet basic requirements laid out in the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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“The final report submitted to Congress lacks key deliverables mandated ... and is at odds with the plain language of the NDAA,” the lawmakers write.

The report did not hold information that Congress ordered it to include, such as a list of the 10 installations from each military service most vulnerable in the next 20 years. 

It was also supposed to include specific mitigation measures to alleviate climate risks at installations, as well as cost estimates for such efforts.

“The Department's final report included no such list, nor a specific discussion of costs, in contravention of the requirements of the NDAA. The report also includes no methodological justification for its failure to mention United States Marine Corps bases or vulnerabilities to any overseas installations,” the letter states.

The Pentagon earlier this month delivered the report to Congress, revealing that more than two-thirds of operationally critical military installations are threatened by the effects of climate change over the next 20 years.

The study, titled “Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense,” found that, out of 79 “mission assurance priority installations” from the Army, Air Force and Navy, 53 are at risk for flooding, 43 are at risk for drought and 36 are at risk for wildfires. Those numbers are on track to increase in the next 20 years, according to the document.

After the report’s release, Democratic lawmakers quickly criticized the report as incomplete.

“It demonstrates a continued unwillingness to seriously recognize and address the threat that climate change poses to our national security and military readiness,” Smith said in a statement.

The lawmakers ask for the revised version to be delivered on or before April 1.