Leading in Clean Energy
(Climate Action Plan, p. 11.)
- Renewables. By 2020: Federal government is to consume 20% of its electricity from renewable sources.
- Efficiency. Federal government is to continue to pursue greater energy efficiency.
Implementation, Progress, and Outcomes
October 2009: President Obama signed Executive Order 13,514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, which required federal agencies to take specific measures to increase their energy efficiency, reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and pursue a range of additional environmental policies. (See Exec. Order No. 13,515, 74 Fed. Reg. 52,117 (Oct. 8, 2009).) The executive order required federal agencies to prepare annual Sustainability Plans and to keep the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) apprised of their performance and progress in implementing those plans. (Id. at 52,122, § 7.) Sustainability Plans are available on the Sustainability page of the Performance.gov website.
April 2011: CEQ released the first-ever comprehensive inventory of GHG emissions for the entire federal government, accounting for GHG emissions associated with federal government operations in 2010. (Nancy Sutley, Knowing Where We Stand to Save Money, Improve Efficiency, Reduce Pollution, and Eliminate Waste, Council on Environmental Quality (blog) (Apr. 28, 2011, 12:00 PM).) The inventory is available on the data.gov website.
May 31, 2013: Federal agencies released OMB Sustainability/Energy Scorecards for 2012, reporting on implementation of their Sustainability Plans and providing data on energy efficiency, GHG emissions, use of renewable energy, and other measures. (Press Release, CEQ, Federal Agencies Release Energy and Sustainability Performance Updates (May 31, 2013).) OMB Scorecards for the 15 major executive departments as well as 10 other agencies are available on the Sustainability page of the Performance.gov website. The OMB Scorecards assign scores of green (success), yellow (mixed results), and red (unsatisfactory) on seven measures, based on targets contained in Executive Order 13,514, state Sustainability plans, and statutes: two GHG emission reduction targets, reduction in energy intensity, use of renewable energy, reduction in potable water intensity, reduction in fleet petroleum use, and green buildings.
The 2013 OMB Scorecards show generally positive performance, particularly in reducing GHG emissions and using electricity from renewable sources. The picture is more mixed in the area of energy intensity (efficiency), with several agencies receiving red scores. Only 14 out of 25 agencies received green scores and were judged to be “on track” toward achieving their goals for reduction in fleet petroleum use. (See generally OMB Scorecards, available at Performance.gov.)
December 5, 2013: The fourth round of Sustainability Plans were released. Sustainability Plans are available on the Sustainability page of the Performance.gov website.
New Renewable Energy Target
December 5, 2013: President Obama issued a new Presidential Memorandum in which he directed federal agencies to increase their consumption of renewable energy to 20% of their total electric use by 2020, formalizing the goal contained in the Climate Action Plan. (See Presidential Memorandum—Federal Leadership on Energy Management, 78 Fed. Reg. 75,209, 75,209, § 1(a) (Dec. 10, 2013).) The Memorandum also set milestone goals for each intervening fiscal year (FY):
- FY 2015: at least 10%
- FY 2016 & FY 2017: at least 15%
- FY 2018 & FY 2019: at least 17.5%
- FY 2020 and thereafter: at least 20%
(Id. at 75,210, § 2(c).) The Memorandum specified the order of priority that agencies should give to various actions they may take in pursuit of meeting these targets, giving highest priority to installing agency-funded renewable energy on-site at federal facilities. (Id. at 75,209, § 1(b).) It also provided guidance for calculating and tracking progress toward meeting these targets, including the requirement that agencies report progress in their Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans. (Id. at 75,210, § 2.)
This page was last updated on Feb. 14, 2014.