President Obama Expands GHG Reduction Target for Federal Operations

On July 20, President Obama announced that the Federal Government will reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) pollution from indirect sources, such as employee travel and commuting, by 13% by 2020. 

Cumulatively, greenhouse gas pollution reductions from Federal government operations will total 101 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the emissions from 235 million barrels of oil.

Recognizing that the Federal Government consumes more energy than any other single organization or company in the country, President Obama issued Executive Order 13514 on Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, which requires the Federal government to lead by example and reduce, measure and report direct and indirect GHG pollution. 

Just how much energy does the Federal government use? The White House reported that the Federal government owns 600,000 vehicles, owns and manages nearly 500,000 buildings, and paid a $24.5 billion utility and fuel bill in 2008. 

The Executive Order further requires that the actions Federal agencies take to meet these goals have a positive return on investment for the American taxpayer. To promote accountability, annual progress will be measured by the Office of Management and Budget and reported online to the public.

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