The Biden Administration’s measures to regulate fossil fuel usage in the federal and military sectors have come under renewed scrutiny.
House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, led by Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Chairman Pat Fallon (R-TX), have expressed concern over the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council’s proposed rule on “Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate-Related Financial Risk.”
In a recent press release, the Committee stated, “The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is conducting oversight of the FAR Council’s proposed rule on Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate-Related Financial Risk (hereinafter, ‘the Rule’).”
The Committee expressed deep reservations that the Rule, “as drafted, would restrict the availability of conventional fuels to the federal motor and aviation fleet and potentially compromise U.S. military readiness.”
Highlighting their concerns further, the Committee’s press release said the rule is a “clear example of the Biden Administration’s ongoing radical environmental activism and regulatory blitz.”
Their worry stems from the proposed rule’s potential to inhibit the accessibility of traditional fuels for both the federal fleet and the U.S. military.
The Committee had previously sent an initial letter in August 2023, requesting the FAR Council to furnish certain documents, communications, and a staff briefing.
However, after the council failed to respond as requested, the Committee penned another letter to FAR Council Chair Mathew Blum. Emphasizing the gravity of their demand, the Committee stated, “The Committee’s letter was not sent simply to offer a public comment for the FAR Council’s rulemaking, but to assert congressional oversight regarding this critical matter.”
Furthermore, the proposed rule has a significant component that might prove contentious.
It plans to assign the responsibility of validating federal contractors’ greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which is a collaboration of various nongovernmental organizations.
This decision has raised eyebrows as SBTi is supported by multiple foreign governments, including China.
The Committee’s press release voiced this concern explicitly, saying it “raises serious concerns about the impact the proposed rule would have on national security.”
The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has hence reiterated its request, emphasizing the importance of complying with congressional oversight.
They asserted the critical nature of the information sought by them, concluding, “As such, the Committee reiterates its request that the FAR Council provide the briefing, documents and information sought by the Committee’s August 3, 2023, letter.”
Read the full letter to FAR Council Chair Mathew Blum below: