Biden orders federal vehicles and buildings to use renewable energy by 2050

However, the orders could be canceled by a future administration. And the plan does not cover purchases by the Defense Ministry, which accounts for a large portion of the government’s energy spending. Clean energy purchases could also cost the government more money in the short term, and many components such as electric charging stations for a fleet of fully electric federal vehicles have yet to be built.

Republicans are already increasingly opposing the plan. Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on Wednesday denounced it as “shameful” and said the plan would hurt workers in the fossil fuel industry.

“It’s not better to rebuild,” he said in a statement. “It’s another grueling decision to build a bigger bureaucracy. “

The plan presented by Mr. Biden presents significant challenges for the administration.

Only 40 percent of the electricity purchased by the federal government now comes from renewable sources like wind and solar. The goal is to increase this figure to 100% in less than a decade. The federal government currently consumes only 1.5% of the nation’s energy, although it is a major player in some states where it has significant operations, such as Virginia, California, Georgia, and North Carolina .

By converting its electricity into wind, solar and other sources that do not produce global warming emissions, the government intends to follow the path set out by companies like Google, Apple and Wal-Mart, which have established tariffs or developed power purchase agreements with local utilities to meet their targets of 100 percent renewable energy, a senior administration official said.

The obligation to purchase only zero-emission vehicles by 2035 is even more difficult.

Currently, electric vehicles only represent around 1.5% of the public fleet. In fiscal 2021, the administration purchased 650 electric vehicles, according to the administration, a number it hopes to multiply by several this year and beyond. The government purchases about 50,000 vehicles per year, many of which are replacement vehicles.

“That’s about half of a factory’s annual output, about half of one percent of all vehicles sold each year,” said Steven Koonin, a physicist who served as Under Secretary for Energy under President Barack Obama and who is now a climate policy researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research organization. “These are little potatoes. “

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