Navy official says greenhouse gas rule is working

The provision, authored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), was largely aimed at preventing the military from buying coal-derived fuels at a time when the coal industry and many Republicans were seeking to jumpstart a coal-to-liquids fuel industry in the U.S.

Hicks told the Energy and Power Subcommittee Friday that the Navy is not interested in coal-based transportation fuels, citing costs, greenhouse gases and other problems with coal-to-liquids, a decades-old technology.

He instead touted Navy programs to use fuel blended with next-generation biofuels.

But Section 526 – which some House and Senate Republicans are pushing to repeal – has also raised questions about whether it could affect fuel purchases from refineries that use oil from Canada’s oil sands projects.

“Is it practically possible for [the Defense Department] to determine which fuels are derived from Canadian oil sands, or which are not, in the general fuel distribution system?” asked Rep. Gene GreenRaymond (Gene) Eugene GreenTexas New Members 2019 Two Democrats become first Texas Latinas to serve in Congress Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 MORE (D-Texas), whose district is home to several refineries, during the hearing.

Hicks said he would prefer to answer that question later for the hearing record, and also said it would be better directed toward the agency that handles fuel purchases on behalf of the military branches.

The subcommittee met Friday to review a wide-ranging GOP energy bill. It includes repeal of Section 526 and would also require the military to build a coal-to-liquids plant.

Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhy Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Memo: Toxic 2020 is unavoidable conclusion from Trump tweets GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE (R-S.C.) and Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissRepublicans say Democrats holding up disaster relief as 'Sandy payback' Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight MORE (R-Ga.) have also pushed to repeal the law over concerns it could hinder access to Canadian oil sands.

The oil sands — a growing source of U.S. supply — have long been in environmentalists’ crosshairs over their emissions and the impact of extraction projects on Canada’s boreal forests.