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Senate gives green light to Pentagon green energy

Associated Press Modified: November 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm •  Published: November 28, 2012
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"As one of the largest landowners and energy consumers in the world, our drive is to be more efficient and environmentally sustainable," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a speech in May to the Environmental Defense Fund. "We have to be able to have the potential to transform the nation's approach to the challenges we are facing in the environment and energy security. We've got to look ahead to try to see how we can best achieve that."

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma have pushed to limit Pentagon investments in clean energy, arguing that in a time of defense budget cuts the Pentagon can't afford spending money on green energy projects.

Inhofe has gone further, saying earlier this year that Panetta has a "real war to win, and he should not be wasting time perpetrating President Obama's global warming fantasies or his ongoing war on affordable energy."

The Senate bill extends, for one year, the divisive provisions on the handling of suspected terrorists that snagged the legislation last year. The legislation would deny terror suspects, including U.S. citizens seized within the nation's borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. It also would require military custody for foreign terrorist suspects linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates and involved in plotting against or attacking the United States.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., with the support of conservative Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced an amendment to the bill that stipulates the government cannot detain a U.S. citizen or legal resident indefinitely without charge or trial even in with the authorization to use military force or declaration of war.

"If we give up our rights, have we not let the terrorists win?" Paul said in arguing for the amendment, which may be voted on later this week.