By Washington Business Journal

President Barack Obama wants federal government workers to re-think their commuting and work-related travel in an attempt to further reduce the governmentâ¿¿s greenhouse gas emissions.

The White House aims to cut the federal governmentâ¿¿s indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent from 2008 levels by 2020, said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, at a clean energy forum held Tuesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Indirect emissions are less tangible than their direct counterparts, linked more to behaviors, such as commuting patterns. In January, Obama had ordered a 28 percent reduction by 2020 in the federal governmentâ¿¿s direct greenhouse gas emissions, whose sources are from government-owned facilities and vehicles.

The presidentâ¿¿s carbon emission reduction goals come as Congress works on a comprehensive energy bill.

⿿In addition to looking inward, we are looking to policy,⿝ Sutley said, echoing Obama⿿s mantra of making ⿿clean energy the profitable kind of energy.⿝

The success of this latest order on indirect emissions hinges largely on whether federal workers have access to public transit that would allow them to change their commuting behavior beyond carpooling.

Bob Peck, head of the General Services Administrationâ¿¿s Public Buildings Service, who was one of about 100 public- and private-sector leaders at the forum, said his agency is drafting guidelines that would land more federal offices near transit and encourage federal transit-oriented development in the future.

Those guidelines are currently being vetted and could be released in the next 30 days.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010