Obama Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) — The federal government will reduce its greenhouse gas pollution by 28 percent by 2020, U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday.

Hitting the pollution reduction target will reduce the government’s 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 a year, Obama said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

The president said the cumulative saving would be the equivalent of $8 billion 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,” Obama said. “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 can achieve greenhouse gas pollution reductions by measuring current energy and fuel use, being more energy efficient and moving to clean energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, Obama said.

On Oct. 5, Obama signed an executive order that set measurable environmental performance goals for federal agencies.

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