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President Biden has signed an executive order seeking to make the federal government—and the U.S. economy as a whole—climate neutral by 2050 by supporting low-carbon electricity and EVs, as well as encouraging the use of low-carbon products such as construction materials.
To this end, the government will spend some $650 billion annually on replacing ICE cars in its fleet with electric vehicles and boosting the energy efficiency of its 300,000 buildings.
“The Federal Government faces broad exposure to the mounting risks and costs already posed by the climate crisis. In responding to this crisis, we have a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity to create and sustain jobs, including well-paying union jobs; support a just transition to a more sustainable economy for American workers; strengthen America’s communities; protect public health; and advance environmental justice,” the President wrote in the executive order.
Among the goals set in the order is 100 percent carbon-free electricity on a net annual basis over the next nine years, “including 50 percent 24/7 carbon pollution-free electricity,” which is later on in the order defined as “carbon pollution-free electricity procured to match actual electricity consumption on an hourly basis and produced within the same regional grid where the energy is consumed.”
Another goal is for the federal government to be buying only emission-free vehicles by 2035, with the deadline for light-duty vehicles set for 2027, again at 100 percent of government car purchases.
The plan also targets emission cuts in buildings: according to the order, 2045 should see a net-zero buildings portfolio for the government, with a target for a 50-percent reduction in current emissions by 2032.
“Through a whole-of-government approach, we will demonstrate how innovation and environmental stewardship can protect our planet, safeguard Federal investments against the effects of climate change, respond to the needs of all of America’s communities, and expand American technologies, industries, and jobs,” Biden said in his order.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.