Biden signs executive orders to make all government vehicles electric & buildings renewable powered

A series of new executive orders aims to make the federal government carbon neutral by 2050

Published: December 9, 2021 8:14am

Updated: December 9, 2021 9:35am

President Biden has signed a series of executive orders to make the federal government carbon neutral.

The Democrat president on Wednesday ordered federal agencies to purchase electric vehicles, harness wind, solar, and nuclear energy to power facilities, and to use sustainable building materials. The goal is for the federal government to stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2050.

In the next decade, Biden wants the government to cease purchasing electricity produced from sources that emit carbon dioxide. By 2035, the administration wants all new federal cars and truck purchases to be zero-emissions. Right now, only about 1.5% of the government fleet is electric vehicles. The government buys about 50,000 vehicles a year. In fiscal 2021, only 650 of those were electric.

Unlike some executive orders, which must undergo and often arduous process before taking effect, procurement rules can take effect almost immediately. However, the risk of a future administration overturning them is ever present. 

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, voiced dissatisfaction with the administration's plan.

"This is not build back better," he said, referring to Biden's trillion-dollar spending bill now in the Senate. "It's another backbreaking move to build bigger bureaucracy."

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