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Thursday, January 25, 2007

President Bush Issues Executive Order to Federal Agencies: Reduce Fuel Consumption, Use Biofuels and Buy Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

[From Green Car Congress:]

The morning after his State of the Union Address [see earlier GCC post for summary of energy provisions in the State of the Union speech], President Bush issued an executive order to Federal Agencies that, among other things, requires a 2% reduction in consumption of petroleum products per year through the end of 2015 in fleets larger than 20 vehicles.

The order also specifies an increase of total fuel consumption that is non-petroleum-based by 10% and requires the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) when the plug-ins are commercially available at a cost reasonably comparable, on the basis of life-cycle cost, to non-PHEVs.

President Bush, speaking at DuPont 24 Jan 07, said:

"Today I signed an executive order that says we’re going to commit the government to the following things: that we’re going to purchase more hybrid and flexible-fuel vehicles that run on ethanol—because we own a lot of cars, and therefore, it’s one thing to say, this is the goal; it’s another thing to actually participate in achieving that goal, and that’s what we’re going to do.

Secondly, we're going to purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles as soon as they hit the market. I think that will give some surety to those who have invested in new technologies to know that the federal government is going to be a purchaser, when commercially available."

The Executive Order consolidates a number of pre-existing orders and adds new requirements. Other requirements in the Executive Order are:

  • A reduction in energy intensity of 3% annually through the end of fiscal year 2015, or 30% by the end of fiscal year 2015, relative to the baseline of the agency’s energy use in fiscal year 2003;

  • Ensuring that at least half of the statutorily required renewable energy consumed by the agency in a fiscal year comes from new renewable sources, and that to the extent feasible, the agency implements renewable energy generation projects on agency property for agency use;

  • Beginning in FY 2008, to reduce water consumption intensity, relative to the baseline of the agency’s water consumption in fiscal year 2007, through life-cycle cost-effective measures by 2% annually through the end of fiscal year 2015 or 16% by the end of fiscal year 2015;

  • Requiring in agency acquisitions of goods and services the use of sustainable environmental practices, including acquisition of bio-based, environmentally preferable, energy-efficient, water-efficient, and recycled-content products; and use of paper of at least 30% post-consumer fiber content;

  • Ensuring that the agency reduces the quantity of toxic and hazardous chemicals and materials acquired, used, or disposed of by the agency, increases diversion of solid waste as appropriate, and maintains cost-effective waste prevention and recycling programs in its facilities;

  • Ensuring that new construction and major renovation of agency buildings comply with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings set forth in the Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding,, and 15% of the existing Federal capital asset building inventory of the agency as of the end of fiscal year 2015 incorporates the sustainable practices in the Guiding Principles; and

  • Ensuring that the agency when acquiring an electronic product to meet its requirements, meets at least 95% of those requirements with an Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered electronic product, unless there is no EPEAT standard for such product, enables the Energy Star feature on agency computers and monitors, establishes and implements policies to extend the useful life of agency electronic equipment, and uses environmentally sound practices with respect to disposition of agency electronic equipment that has reached the end of its useful life.

  • The Order directs agency heads to implement within their agencies environmental management systems (EMS) at all appropriate organizational levels to ensure the use of EMS as the primary management approach for addressing environmental aspects of internal agency operations and activities, including environmental aspects of energy and transportation functions, the establishment of agency objectives and targets to ensure implementation of this order, and the collection, analysis, and reporting of information to measure performance in the implementation of this order.

    The head of an agency may exempt law enforcement, protective, emergency response, or military tactical vehicle fleets of that agency from the provisions of the order.

    This may be the first thing President Bush has done that I'm happy about... I'm trying to remember something else, but nothing's really coming to mind (extension of the PTC in EPAct 2005 I suppose...)

    Halting the forward march of exponential growth should be our goal whenever possible when resource use is concerned. The provisions outlined in this Executive Order set the federal government on the path to reducing resource consumption in a number of areas, and I applaud President Bush for issuing this order (now there's something I never thought I'd say).

    For once, at least on this small thing, the president has attempted to walk his talk.

    I'm also happy to see a committmen to purchase plug-in hybrids when the become commercialized. Large fleet purchases have consitently been drivers of new technologies.

    Just this once (begrudgingly), I salute you President Bush!

    (I feel dirty now... I'm going to go take a shower...)

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