Go to Source January 11, 2022
The president’s executive order aims to use the US government’s procurement power to achieve “carbon pollution-free electricity” by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
On December 8, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability (EO), which aims to set the federal government — the largest purchaser in the country with an annual purchasing power of $650 billion — on a path to net zero emissions by 2050. The EO establishes the following policies as part of a whole-of-government strategy.
Consistent with other recent executive orders from the Biden Administration, the EO places a strong focus on environmental justice as well as a “just transition” toward cleaner energy. The EO also identifies growing domestic industry, creating well-paying union jobs, and improving public health as key policies of the government’s energy transition.
Despite the apparent expansive sweep of the EO, it contains exemptions for (1) certain activities, personnel, and facilities “in the interest of national security,” and (2) vehicles and equipment used in combat support, military operations, or training. The EO also includes a process for agency heads to request exemptions for any other reason.
While the EO establishes targets and goals, many of the implementing details are to be developed by federal agencies:
A number of the EO’s policies dovetail with components of the recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including promoting a nationwide transition to electric vehicles, upgrading and increasing resiliency of the country’s power and transportation infrastructure, expanding clean energy generation and storage, and transitioning to a zero emissions future. This overlap further emphasizes the importance of these issues to the Biden Administration and indicates that climate and sustainability will continue to remain a focal point in executive policy.
 The EO defines “principal agencies” as the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense (including the Army Corps of Engineers), Justice, the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security; the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the General Services Administration, and the National Archives and Records Administration.
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