Langevin: Military needs to be proactive about climate change


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Congressman Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island, wants to know just how vulnerable our military bases are to a changing climate.

“It’s happening,” he said. “It’s affecting us in national security.”

Langevin is leading the charge to ensure military readiness for rising sea levels and stronger storms. Two years ago, he was able to get a provision into the National Defense Authorization Act that required the Department of Defense to determine the 10 most vulnerable military bases to climate change in each branch.

The agency published a report but Langevin was not pleased with the results.

“The Pentagon really missed the mark on the climate change issue,” he said.

Langevin wanted answers to questions about steps that are being taken to mitigate the effects of climate change, along with costs for dealing with the issue.

“I want the Pentagon to do a redo on that report to address specifically what I required,” Langevin said.

The department later submitted another report to Langevin’s office but he says that one missed the mark as well.

The Department of Defense says it “has been and will continue to be proactive in developing comprehensive policy, guidance, and tools to mitigate potential climate impacts.”

But Langevin says the revised report continues to leave off overseas bases and most importantly, it lacks any guidance on how much money Congress will need to provide to deal with the problem.

“To make sure that we are as best prepared from a national security standpoint as possible, and we’re not sticking our head in the sand,” he added.

Langevin says climate change is not going away and the Defense Department needs to do its homework before it’s too late.

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