Environment News Service (ENS)

Bush Orders Federal Agencies to Slash Energy Consumption

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Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

WASHINGTON, DC (ENS) - President George W. Bush Wednesday issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to cut their energy consumption, shift federal fleets to alternative fuel and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and expand procurement programs for environmentally friendly products.

Under the order, agencies operating fleets of at least 20 motor vehicles must reduce their consumption of petroleum products by two percent a year through the end of fiscal 2015.

Bush said federal agencies would start buying new plug-in hybrid vehicles 'as soon as they hit the market.'

The order requires agencies to reduce their overall energy use by three percent annually through 2015 and to cut water consumption two percent annually over the same period.

Agencies must increase alternative fuel consumption at least 10 percent annually.

The order mandates that agencies expand procurement programs focusing on environmentally friendly products, including bio-based products.

At least 50 percent of current renewable energy purchases must come from renewable sources that began generating power after January 1, 1999, the order states.

Agencies must reduce the use of chemicals and toxic materials and purchase lower risk chemicals and toxic materials from a top priority list.

In addition, annually, 95 percent of electronic products purchased must meet Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool standards where applicable. The order requires agencies to enable Energy Star features on all computers and monitors; and reuse, donate, sell, or recycle 100 percent of electronic products using environmentally sound management practices.

Finally, by 2010 the federal government must increase to at least 2,500 the number of operations that implement environmental management systems, up from about 1,000 today.

The Executive Order consolidates and strengthens five other executive orders and two memorandums of understanding and establishes new and updated goals, practices, and reporting requirements for environmental, energy, and transportation performance and accountability.

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