Under an executive order of U.S. President Joe Biden, the federal government would discontinue the purchase of gasoline-fueled vehicles, and its building would use solar, wind, and other clean energy resources for fulfilling electricity and different power needs. On Wednesday, the president announced a plan to make the federal government carbon neutral, ordering state agencies to purchase electric vehicles, power facilities with solar, wind, and nuclear energy, and use environmental building materials.
Today, I signed an executive order directing the federal government to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2021
It is a series of executive orders from President Biden, as he directed his administration to transform its six hundred thousand cars & trucks, three hundred thousand buildings, and use its yearly acquisitions of $650 billion in goods and services to achieve his goal of a federal administration that halts adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050. From his initial days of the government, the president said he aimed to use the federal government as a role model and to help encourage the markets for green energy.
By 2030, President Biden wants the federal government to acquire electricity produced only from sources that don’t release carbon dioxide, the most plentiful of the human-produced greenhouse gases that are warming the Earth. Moreover, by 2032, the Biden government wants to see the emanations from building operations, like heating, cut in half. Likewise, in 2035, all new federal vehicles purchases would also be zero emissions.
Will Biden achieve his climate goals?
The move comes as the U.S. president struggles to turn several climate goals into reality. For example, Biden vowed to cut the country’s carbon emissions from fossil fuels approximately in half by this decade’s end. On the other hand, Congress still has not passed a $1.7 trillion spending legislation to help the federal government achieve that target. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to restrict the ability of the federal government to use specific regulatory moves to combat climate change.
Experts said that the buying goals could go a long way in converting the clean energy markets. Joshua Freed, a senior Vice President for climate and energy at Third Way, said that it is a similar approach to what China is doing so effectively, leveraging the acquisition power of their government to produce demand that markets can meet. Freed said that the federal government is one of the biggest purchasers in several areas.
Can future governments reverse the orders?
The administration is going to acquire cleaner materials, products, and vehicles to enable firms to move in that direction. However, procurement rules can instantly take effect, unlike most expensive orders that experience fractious and lengthy regulatory processes before they are approved. As a result, the orders could reverse by a future government. In addition, the plan doesn’t cover acquiring by the U.S. Department of Defense, which accounts for a significant portion of the energy spending of the government.
The federal government’s clean energy acquisitions could also cost it more money in the short run. Several components, such as electric charging stations for an all-electric national vehicle fleet, are still not built. Republican leaders on the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources criticized it as disgraceful and said the plan would hurt employees in the fossil fuel sector.