Udall's Biofuels, Uranium Mines Provisions Part of Final Defense Authorization Bill
Amendments Ensure that Defense Department Can Develop, Use Alternative Fuels and Addresses Abandoned Uranium Mines
Mark Udall, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised the final passage of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which contains critical provisions for Colorado military, veterans and civilian residents, as well as the pursuit of American energy security. The final bill includes several important amendments Udall championed, including one that reinforces the Defense Department's efforts to develop and use innovative alternative fuels, overcoming earlier legislation to block such investments.
"The passage today of the National Defense Authorization Act is welcome news for the tens of thousands of military personnel and families stationed in Colorado. It provides the funding, equipment and policy improvements that will support our service members as they safeguard our national security," Udall said. "The House and the Senate worked together to produce a strong bill that keeps us on track to implement a smarter national security that advances our energy security and protects Colorado's military community."
Udall also welcomed news that the final NDAA includes his provisions that:
- Limit the military's ability to unilaterally relocate large numbers of civilian or military personnel without justification or congressional oversight - an amendment that ensures Colorado's military bases and installations remain a critical part of the state's economy, workforce and community;
- Preserves the Department of Defense's efforts to develop and use alternative fuels for operational purposes;
- Requires the Department of Energy to study the cost and logistics required to clean up abandoned uranium mines, which often were used to mine materials in order to build nuclear warheads. Colorado is home to approximately 1,300 uranium mines that produced uranium for nuclear weapons;
- Orders the Department of Defense to conduct a thorough analysis of attacks committed by Afghan National Security Forces against U.S. troops, develop a detailed plan for preventing further attacks, and study how so-called "green-on-blue" violence affects the mission in Afghanistan;
- Cancels funding for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), which has cost taxpayers nearly $2 billion since 1995 while only completing two test launches.
Udall, who also serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has been a vocal proponent of pursuing a smart but tough national security policy.