President Barack Obama has thrown down the gauntlet on climate change once again. On Thursday the President issued an executive order that requires federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 2008 levels over the next ten years.
While the federal government is the largest single energy user in the country, federal agencies are responsible for just 0.6 percent of all U.S. emissions. So, the decision is just a small part of President Obama’s bigger-picture plan to tackle climate change. But what’s not small is the savings taxpayers will be realize as a result of cutting emissions–an estimated $18 billion in the coming decade.
While the actual impact to climate change from this particular move might not be that great, the Washington Post notes that its true power might come in the form of an impact to the federal government’s suppliers. The federal government owns 360,000 buildings and 650,000 fleet vehicles, so if federal agencies start spending more tax dollars solar power, electric cars or wind turbines, the market for those industries should naturally increase.