(The Center Square) – The Biden administration announced Wednesday new greenhouse gas goals and standards for federal buildings.
The White House said it plans “to cut energy use and electrify equipment and appliances in 30 percent of the building space owned by the Federal government by 2030.”
The Department of Energy simultaneously released a new Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for public comment on a coming rule: “Clean Energy for New Federal Buildings and Major Renovations of Federal Buildings.”
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the rule would create “a firm timetable to reduce the government’s carbon footprint in new and existing federal facilities.”
The DOE claimed in its announcement that the updates would save taxpayers $8 million per year in energy costs.
“Over the next 30 years, the new rule would reduce carbon emissions from federal buildings by 1.86 million metric tons and methane emissions by 22.8 thousand tons – an amount roughly equivalent to the emissions generated by nearly 300,000 homes in one year,” the DOE said.
Government budget predictions are often inaccurate, usually underestimating both cost and the length of time projects will take.
The announcement comes as part of Biden’s previous commitment to have “net zero emissions by 2045.”
Critics called the plan “impractical” and “unscientific.”
“Eliminating natural gas in federal buildings is an impractical, unscientific and expensive idea that will have no environmental benefit. In reality, the demand for electricity fueled by natural gas will only increase and every taxpayer will bear the costs,” said American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert, who opposes the electrification of the buildings. “Today, 187 million Americans use natural gas in their homes every day, more people than voted in the last election. According to the Department of Energy, natural gas is 3.4 times more affordable than electricity to heat buildings, including federal offices, and significantly more affordable than several other energy sources for the same amount of energy delivered. The American Gas Association (AGA) supports the goal of lowering emissions and is investing daily to continue decarbonizing our systems. AGA will thoroughly evaluate the proposal and vigorously participate in the public comment process.”