Obama Sets Emissions-Reduction Target For Federal Operations

The federal government plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by 28% by 2020, President Barack Obama has announced. Actions taken under Executive Order 13514 on Federal Sustainability are designed to spur clean energy investments that create new private-sector jobs, drive long-term savings, build local market capacity, and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in clean energy industries, according to the White House.

As the single largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy, the federal government spent more than $24.5 billion on electricity and fuel in 2008 alone. Achieving the federal GHG pollution reduction target will reduce energy use by the equivalent of 646 trillion Btus.

‘Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution and shift federal energy expenses away from oil and toward local, clean energy,’ says Obama.

Federal departments and agencies will achieve GHG pollution reductions by measuring current energy and fuel use, becoming more energy efficient and shifting to clean energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal.

In October 2009, Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Sustainability, setting measurable environmental performance goals for federal agencies. Each agency was required to submit a 2020 GHG pollution-reduction target from its estimated 2008 baseline to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and to the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by Jan. 4. The federal target is the aggregate of 35 federal agency self-reported targets.

As a next step, the OMB will validate and score each agency's sustainability plan, assuring a long-term return on investment to the American taxpayer. To ensure accountability, annual progress will be measured and reported online to the public.

SOURCE: The White House

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