January 29th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama makes greenhouse gas pledge

(CNN) - President Obama is pledging the Federal Government will reduce its greenhouse gas pollution by 28 percent by 2020, according to a statement from the White House.

“As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient,” Obama said in the statement. “Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift Federal energy expenses away from oil and towards local, clean energy.”

Full statement after the jump

President Obama Sets Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target for Federal Operations

Target to Drive Energy Cost Reductions in Federal Operations, Creating Clean Energy Jobs

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama today announced that the Federal Government will reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by 28 percent by 2020. Reducing and reporting GHG pollution, as called for in Executive Order 13514 on Federal Sustainability, will ensure that the Federal Government leads by example in building the clean energy economy. Actions taken under this Executive Order will spur clean energy investments that create new private-sector jobs, drive long-term savings, build local market capacity, and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in clean energy industries.

As the single largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy, the Federal Government spent more than $24.5 billion on electricity and fuel in 2008 alone. Achieving the Federal GHG pollution reduction target will reduce Federal energy use by the equivalent of 646 trillion BTUs, equal to 205 million barrels of oil, and taking 17 million cars off the road for one year. This is also equivalent to a cumulative total of $8 to $11 billion in avoided energy costs through 2020.

“As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient,” said President Obama. “Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift Federal energy expenses away from oil and towards local, clean energy.”

Federal Departments and Agencies will achieve greenhouse gas pollution reductions by measuring their current energy and fuel use, becoming more energy efficient and shifting to clean energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal. Examples of agency actions that are underway are available on the White House Council on Environmental Quality website and can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq.

On October 5, 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Sustainability, setting measureable environmental performance goals for Federal Agencies. Each Federal Agency was required to submit a 2020 GHG pollution reduction target from its estimated 2008 baseline to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget by January 4, 2010. The Federal target announced today is the aggregate of 35 Federal Agency self-reported targets.

Greenhouse gas emissions serve as a useful metric to measure the effectiveness of agency energy and fuel efficiency efforts as well as renewable energy investments. Agencies are already taking actions that will contribute towards achieving their targets, such as installing solar arrays at military installations, tapping landfills for renewable energy, putting energy management systems in Federal buildings, and replacing older vehicles with more fuel efficient hybrid models.

As a next step, the Office of Management and Budget will validate and score each agency’s sustainability plan, assuring a long-term return on investment to the American taxpayer. To ensure accountability, annual progress will be measured and reported online to the public.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Americans need to wakeup and embrace change. We don't know how much oil supply is left and the suppliers aren't going to tell us the truth.

    January 29, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. Sniffit (the real one)

    Obama's head is still in the sand!!!!

    January 29, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Bob in Pa

    Lets have a good start – cut the number of employees in the senate and congress by 1/2

    January 29, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Is it safe to assume that this could be mean things like solar panels on many )if not all) federal buildings and more hybrid cars used by federal agencies? I hope so. Reagan was short sighted when he removed the solar panels that Carter put up on top of the White House. Every little bit helps and I hope people know that.

    January 29, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Won't happen, can"t happen, without population reduction. End of story.

    January 29, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Ron in California

    The best way for Obama to stop global warming by curtailing gas emissions is for Him, Biden, peolsi and Reid to stop talking

    January 29, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Mike

    BULL, nobama will be gone in 2012.

    January 29, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    According to McDonnell's rebuttal to the state of the union, republicans want to use up all our natural resources.

    January 29, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Dar

    And of course our bills and taxes wont go up either, will they Odumbo?
    This dork has gone into complete panic mode, he spews more retoric every day.

    But, IM glad that IM an American
    And IM glad that IM free
    But I wish I were a dog
    And Odumbo was a tree

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 29, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. USN

    Another kill buisness kill economy pledge.

    January 29, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. Reagan raised taxes and tripled the debt.

    Bushs favorite family,the Saudis and Exxon Mobil arent going to like that much.

    January 29, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Mark

    This idiot just won't give up, doesn't he keep up with all the fake reports that have been done on global warming? Since one of the people involved with manipulating the numbers recently received more federal funding, since obama now wants NASA to monitor global warming instead of building something to replace the shuttle, my conclusion is that the lure of his buddies and himself making millions from carbon credits over rides any notion that he could be wrong on this.


    January 29, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Sniffit

    That's great since the gov't resources seem to be unlimited. Can't wait to see how many jobs it destroys when thr private sector can't afford these hugely inefficient solar and wind options. Should be interesting. EPA is already building the baseline to get ready for some arbitrary number reduction (In GHG and jobs).

    January 29, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. TCM

    If Obama is serious about global warming, he should shut up. He produces an enormous amount of hot air.

    January 29, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. jenn, philadelphia

    How? Is he going to stop giving speeches?

    January 29, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    To what lengths and degree will Republicans go to stop this?
    The "Party of NO" will certainly not let this administration "win" on any front, no matter how good it might be for their CONSTITUENTS...
    When will the "WalMart (hard working low/middle income) Republican" figure that out?

    January 29, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. stevegee

    I think the American people would rather that Obama reduce his administration's emission of hot air.

    January 29, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. linda

    The Obama Administration can begin this "greening" by downsizing their automobile fleet to electric vhicles, instead of the obsene SUVs they currently use.

    While walking in D.C. is never crowded, there is not reason why our elected officials cannot walk from the Hill to the White House, or from the White House to the Hill.


    January 29, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. maine liberal

    Wonderful news. This is how new technologies (solar, wind, tidal) can get cheaper. It is these types of programs that bring government and private sectors together.

    As products are created and improved costs come down.
    Every fed/state/county/school should have a solar electric grid attached array on the roof.

    The answer is not drill baby drill. The answer is that we become leaders in the new energy technologies. this is the space race fo the 21st century.

    January 29, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. Alan

    Ok I feel better now. If Obama promised it, then it will happen.

    When he parks Air Force One then I will listen to what he has to say.

    January 29, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |