Lawmaker to Push Energy Bill on Behalf of Giffords

By Staff | June 20, 2011 | 3:00 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is pushing a bill to help the military deal with its energy needs — and he's doing it on behalf of injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state plans to introduce the bill in the House this week. He is one of several lawmakers who has kept an eye on Giffords' interests as the congresswoman recovers from a gunshot wound to the head in January.

The Defense Department spends about $20 billion a year on fuel and electricity, relying in large part on oil. The legislation would create a joint task force for alternative fuel development, push for the Pentagon to buy electric and hybrid vehicles and provide money for energy-efficiency steps at older buildings.