Biden Signs Presidential Order to Outline How Government Will Become Carbon Neutral by 2050

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【Summary】President Joe Biden’s executive order will leverage the federal government's buying power to drastically cut its carbon emissions by 65 percent by 2030 thanks to a federal fleet of electric cars.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 19, 2022 6:15 AM PT
Biden Signs Presidential Order to Outline How Government Will Become Carbon Neutral by 2050

Electrifying cars is one of the major things that President Joe Biden ran on. The President is pushing automakers to come out with more electric cars and is working on legislation to make electric cars more affordable for consumers. Recently, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that leverages the federal government's buying power in an attempt to slash its carbon emissions by 65 percent. Under the order, the White House will spend billions of dollars to expand its federal fleet of electric cars, upgrade buildings, and add more clean electricity to America's grid. 

Goal Is To Be Carbon Neutral

The executive order is called "Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability." It outlines how the government will become carbon neutral by 2050. Section 204 specifically requires each U.S. government agency with at least a light-duty fleet of 20 vehicles to begin transitioning future new vehicle purchases to be zero-emission cars by the end of 2027. The executive order also mandates the Government Services Agency (GSA) to make all new vehicle fleet purchases to be zero emissions by 2035. The GSA's vehicle fleet includes both medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. 

Since an executive order isn't the same thing as an actual law, there's a good chance that things could change before the 2035 target date. Obviously, there's going to be a lot of opposition to the proposed executive order. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming stated that "President Biden's strategy is to destroy the economies of Wyoming, West Virginia and other energy-producing states." Barrasso also serves on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 

Overall, the executive order will put the government on track to run on carbon-zero electricity by 2030 and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. A White House fact sheet states that the annual buying power of $650 billion will be used to upgrade 300,000 buildings and replace 600,000 vehicles. 

What Else President Biden Is Doing

Finding this many electric vehicles will be a difficult task for the government, as a lot of automakers are still working on coming out with new electric cars. We're not quite sure what current electric vehicles will fit the bill for a government fleet vehicle. Still, the White House said that it will be coordinating with American vehicle, battery, and charging equipment manufacturers and installers to meet the goal of the executive order.  

The executive order is President Biden's latest push to make the U.S. more environmentally conscious. Earlier this November, President Biden signed a bipartisan infrastructure plant into law that includes $7.5 billion to build a national network of charging stations for EVs. Then, there's President Biden's Build Back Better Act that raises the federal tax incentive to $12,500 for an electric car that meets some strict requirements. 

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