President Obama announced today in a prepared statement from the White House that the Federal Government will cut their emissions by 28% by 2020. The announcement comes on the heels of his State of the Union Address where he urged Congress to put aside it’s party bickering in order to pass important legislation like a comprehensive climate bill. Obama noted in his statement, “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 is urging Congress to pass a bill that would lower national emissions by 17% of 2005 levels by 2020 and hopes that this plan will allow the government to lead by example.
The proposed cuts will save up to 205 million barrels of oil or up to $11 billion in energy costs. The cuts are to be measured against a 2008 energy survey of the government. In October of 2009 Obama asked 35 government agencies to set goals to reduce emissions, the 28% cut is the result of the reports that those agencies compiled. Obama’s renewable energy plans are being increasingly touted as part of his economic strategy, to create a new industry around clean energy. It’s nice to see that Obama wasn’t just talking the talk during his State of the Union address. He’s obviously willing to walk the walk and bring the rest of the country along with him.