Obama Instructs Federal Government to Reduce Pollution, 'Lead by Example'

From Sunlen Miller:

President Obama wants to the federal government to “lead by example” in reducing greenhouse gas pollution. So he’s setting strict targets for federal emissions, signed in an executive order today.

The presidential executive order sets greenhouse gas emissions targets for federal agencies – attempting to reduce pollution from federal buildings, fleets, and even federal workers’ commutes by reducing fleet petroleum consumption; conserving water; reducing waste; supporting sustainable communities; and leveraging federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies.

The executive order requires agencies to “measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets.”

“As the largest consumer of energy in the U.S. economy, the federal government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies,” said President Obama in a paper statement, “This executive order builds on the momentum of the Recovery Act to help create a clean energy economy and demonstrates the Federal government’s commitment, over and above what is already being done, to reducing emissions and saving money.”

The executive order also requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets such as a 30% reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020; 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020; 50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015 and 95% of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements.

The federal government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, 600,000 vehicles, and employs more than 1.8 million civilians.

-Sunlen Miller

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