President Joe Biden wants to buy some new vehicles — about 645,000 of them.
According to a White House fact sheet, as part of wide-ranging executive orders to be signed Wednesday, Biden will direct “federal agencies to procure carbon pollution-free electricity and clean, zero-emission vehicles to create good-paying, union jobs and stimulate clean energy industries.”
As of 2019, the federal government operated 645,000 vehicles, with about a third operated by the U.S. Postal Service. Overall, the federal fleet was powered by 375 million gallons of gasoline, according to the General Services Administration, NBC News reported.
Biden foreshadowed his order on Monday. “The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean, electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers,” he said, according to ABC News.
“[T]his type of policy isn’t meant to reflect the present-day market so much as influence the country’s future political economy. It rewards two of Biden’s strategic constituencies: unions in the Upper Midwest and young climate advocates. It is practicable: Democrats can accomplish it using only their narrow congressional majorities and Biden’s authority as chief of the executive branch,” Meyer wrote.
“And it’s our first glimpse of Democrats’ new, souped-up approach to procurement policy, the catchall name for any action that uses the government’s power as a purchaser to create new markets and mainstream new technologies.”
Biden signaled his support for electric vehicles during the campaign.
“We’re going to make sure that we are able to take the federal fleet and turn it into a fleet that’s run on — they’re electric vehicles,” Biden said during the presidential debate in September, according to CNBC. “Making sure that we can do that, we’re gonna put 500,000 charging stations on all of the highways that we’re going to be building in the future.”
Biden’s order drew comments on Twitter.
Here’s the green new deal garbage.
“Biden’s plan to replace the government’s fleet of 650,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles assembled in the U.S…”
Problem: the US doesn’t make vehicles that match Biden’s requirements.https://t.co/V6S55WvX4j
— Ann✨ (@LadyIld) January 27, 2021
Between 2015 and 2019, the USPS purchased a whopping 22 electric vehicles…
What if in the next 4 years we purchased only EVs for a change?
Electrifying the USPS vehicle fleet in the next Congress would be great policy move.
— Catapult Policy Strategies (@CatapultPolicy) December 28, 2020
In part, Biden’s “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” order “directs the Secretary of the Interior to pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters to the extent possible, launch a rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development on public lands and waters, and identify steps that can be taken to double renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030,” according to the White House fact sheet.
Coming after an initial angry reaction to a pause in leasing and drilling ordered last week, the fact sheet said Biden’s order “does not restrict energy activities on lands that the United States holds in trust for Tribes. The Secretary of the Interior will continue to consult with Tribes regarding the development and management of renewable and conventional energy resources, in conformance with the U.S. government’s trust responsibilities.”
The order also calls upon federal agencies to “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law and identify new opportunities to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.”
Biden’s climate order will make “climate considerations as an essential element of U.S. foreign policy and national security” and will direct “the Director of National Intelligence to prepare a National Intelligence Estimate on the security implications of climate change.”
Additionally, “the President has created a new position, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, which will have a seat on the National Security Council” and “it will be a U.S. priority to press for enhanced climate ambition and integration of climate considerations across a wide range of international fora.”
Building back the bureaucracy, Biden is signing an order to re-establish the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and will create a White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy led by a National Climate Advisor and Deputy National Climate Advisor.
Biden said he will create what the fact sheet calls a “Civilian Climate Corps Initiative” with the goal of putting a “new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters, increasing reforestation, increasing carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protecting biodiversity, improving access to recreation, and addressing the changing climate.”
The order did not say where the money to fund the Climate Corps will come from.
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