Ecology, Energy, Economy

Federal Government To Cut GHG Emissions

Posted on | February 7, 2010 | Comments Off

President Obama announced on January 29 that the federal government—the largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy—will achieve a 28% reduction in its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020. Reducing and reporting GHG emissions, as called for in Executive Order 13514 on Federal Sustainability, will ensure that the government leads by example in building the clean energy economy. The president issued the Executive Order on October 5, 2009, requiring each federal agency to submit by January 4 a 2020 target for reducing its GHG emissions from its estimated 2008 baseline. The new target is the aggregate of the targets set by 35 federal departments and agencies.

The federal departments and agencies will establish their baseline GHG emissions by measuring their current energy and fuel use. They will achieve their GHG reductions by becoming more energy efficient and shifting to clean energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal energy. As a next step, the Office of Management and Budget will validate and score each agency’s sustainability plan, assuring a long-term return on investment to the U.S. taxpayer. To ensure accountability, progress will be measured and reported to the public annually.

Achieving the GHG reduction target will reduce federal energy use by 646 trillion Btu, equivalent to 205 million barrels of oil, while avoiding $8-11 billion in energy costs by 2020. Agencies are already taking actions that will contribute towards achieving their targets, such as installing solar arrays, tapping landfills for renewable energy, putting energy management systems in federal buildings, and replacing older vehicles with more fuel-efficient hybrid models.


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