As part of an unfolding administrative effort to curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, President Barack Obama announced an executive order Thursday that would nearly triple the share of energy federal agencies obtain from renewable sources.
To “promote energy security, combat climate change, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the federal government must lead by example,” declared a memorandum from the president announcing the order.
The government currently obtains more than 7 percent of its energy from renewable sources, according to a fact sheet distributed by the White House, but the president said recent increases in domestic energy production make a 20 percent target feasible by 2020. The higher target, the White House argued, would “reduce pollution in our communities, promote American energy independence, and support homegrown energy produced by American workers.”
It’s the latest in a series of piecemeal unilateral steps Obama’s administration has taken to make some regulatory headway against the growing threat of climate change. In June, the administration announced a plan to cap the carbon emissions from new and existing power plants.
In August 2012, the administration finalized new vehicle fuel standards that would require cars and light-duty trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon by model year 2025.
And just Tuesday, the administration announced a plan to help retrofit multifamily housing units and condominiums with energy efficiency upgrades, and it released a 2014 fuel economy guide to promote efficient vehicle usage among consumers.
Federal agencies have already decreased their carbon emissions by 15 percent since Obama took office in 2009, the president noted in his memorandum.
The Associated Press