Obama to US offices: Cut carbon emissions by 40%

In Photo: President Barack Obama (second from left) checks solar panels on the roof of the Energy Department in Washington on March 19. From left are Eric Haukdal, Energy Department manager; Deputy Energy Secretary Liz Sherwood-Randall and Kate Brandt, federal chief sustainability officer.

PRESIDENT Barack Obama ordered the federal government to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels over the next 10 years by shifting to renewable-energy sources, such as solar power.

The executive order signed by Obama on Thursday builds on a 2010 directive from the White House requiring 35 US agencies to limit their energy consumption to help combat climate change.

Private companies that contract with the federal government have also agreed to pursue emissions reductions in concert with the most recent directive. As the single largest consumer of energy in the US, the federal government can help create a “virtuous cycle,” driving down costs and reducing environmental damage, Obama said.

With little support in Congress for his environmental initiatives, Obama has used executive orders to try to limit US gas emissions.

“We thought it was important for us to lead by example,” Obama said on Thursday while meeting executives from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Honeywell International Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and other companies at the Energy Department.

“We’re proving that it is possible to grow our economy robustly, while at the same time doing the right thing for our environment and tackling climate change in a serious way.”

The administration has been trying to build momentum for an international accord on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions at a summit in Paris at the end of this year. Having won an agreement from China to cap emissions, Obama has been challenging other nations to follow suit.

Climate talks

Obama spoke with the company leaders after touring a set of solar panels on the roof of the Energy Department in Washington.

The companies, including General Electric Co., Hewlett-Packard and Northrop Grumman Corp., pledged to increase the use of renewable energy. IBM is setting a goal of reducing carbon emissions 35 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

The White House released a scorecard on Thursday tracking the emissions disclosures for companies that supply goods and services to the federal government. Chris Warren, a spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research in Washington, said Obama’s move “will have no impact on global temperatures.”

“The president is clearly trying to boost his climate credentials to appease the national environmental lobby, regardless of what it means for the average American,” said Warren, whose organization supports limited government regulation of utilities.

Renewable sources

Under Obama’s order, federal agencies will be required to obtain 25 percent of their total energy from renewable sources by 2025.

The order targets the 360,000 federal buildings across the US, requiring a 2.5-percent annual reduction in energy use for the next decade. The federal government’s fleet of 650,000 vehicles will be required to reduce per-mile carbon emissions by 30 percent. The goal of reducing emissions by 40 percent already includes the 17-percent reduction achieved since 2008, said Brian Deese, a senior adviser to Obama.

Reaching the goal would save taxpayers $18 billion per year and would be equivalent to taking 5.5 million cars off the road, Deese said.

Toluse Olorunnipa / Bloomberg

Image credits: AP/Jacquelyn Martin



  1. Despite the repeated exposure of the hoaxers’ and huxters’ bad data, big gubmint envirolibs/socialists and Marxists still forward their bogus claims of anthropomorphic climate change. It should be obvious to the same party, and opposition party pols, and also the media that it’s just more of the same. Make ’em own it in 2016.

  2. So…old Pen and Phone has decided to do an executive order requiring the government to do something that will take eight years after the end of his presidency to accomplish. There is no money for it.

    This is just a political and publicity stunt…”He CARES about the environment!” What a guy! What a messiah!

  3. Barry could stop giving speeches. That alone would cut government carbon and methane emissions by 60%.

  4. This explains why the IRS was not archiving emails. They cut out the back-up servers to save energy and comply with Obama’s carbon reduction mandate.

  5. This is the time the planet begins to heal, and the sea levels fall….. And people still listen too, and believe this social pathological liar ? We do NOT have a media,, as in the 4th estate anymore, we have a propaganda arm of the democratic party instead.

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