Biden Bits: An America With The Best Infrastructure in the World…

Biden Tweets Christmas Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Thursday. Photo taken at 8:30 a.m. CA., time.

For Thursday, December 9th, 2021, President Biden has delivered opening remarks at the virtual Summit for Democracy. After his remarks he hosted the Leaders’ Plenary Session at the virtual Summit for Democracy. At 10:00 a.m. D.C., time the President, the First Lady, the Vice President, and the Second Gentleman, will attend a Congressional tribute ceremony for Senator Robert Dole; the President will deliver remarks. This afternoon he will speak with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Later this afternoon he will hold a call with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine group of our eastern flank NATO Allies to discuss his call with Russian President Putin. Sometime following his calls he and the Vice President will meet with members of the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

The White House issued the following Proclamation on Amending the Proclamation 10320; the Death of Robert J Dole:

By the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to extend the display of the flag at half-staff as a mark of respect for Robert Joseph Dole, it is hereby ordered that Proclamation 10320 of December 3, 2021, is amended by deleting in the first sentence the words “until sunset on December 9, 2021” and inserting in their place the words “through Saturday, December 11.”

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.

White 12/09/2021.

President Biden has tweeted 5 times so far for Thursday…

The White House published the following fact-sheet; Announcing the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal:

Today, President Biden opened the first-ever Summit for Democracy, a forum for leaders from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing democracies in the 21st century. As a core U.S. Government commitment toward achieving the Summit’s objectives, today President Biden announced the establishment of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal, a landmark set of policy and foreign assistance initiatives that build upon the U.S. Government’s significant, ongoing work to bolster democracy and defend human rights globally.

The United States has long worked to strengthen democracy and advance respect for human rights. Not only is this the right thing to do, it is in the United States’ national security interest, because strong, rights-respecting democracies are more peaceful, prosperous, and stable. Democracies also make stronger partners for the United States, as we work together to address the world’s most pressing international challenges, from combating the climate crisis to preventing the next pandemic.

The Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal represents a significant, targeted expansion of U.S. Government efforts to defend, sustain, and grow democratic resilience with likeminded governmental and non-governmental partners. In the coming year, the United States is planning to provide up to $424.4 million toward the Presidential Initiative, working with Congress and subject to the availability of appropriations. These efforts will center on five areas of work crucial to the functioning of transparent, accountable governance:

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  1. Supporting Free and Independent Media
  2. Fighting Corruption
  3. Bolstering Democratic Reformers
  4. Advancing Technology for Democracy
  5. Defending Free and Fair Elections and Political Processes

I. Supporting Free and Independent Media

  • Bolstering Independent Media. Under the Presidential Initiative, USAID will provide up to $30 million to the International Fund for Public Interest Media, a new multi-donor fund designed to enhance the independence, development, and sustainability of independent media, especially in resource-poor and fragile settings. Additionally, USAID will provide up to $5 million to launch a Media Viability Accelerator, which will improve the financial viability of independent media outlets in both under-developed and more-developed media markets.
  • Protecting Journalists Physically, Digitally, and Legally. To guard the essential work of journalism from spurious legal claims aiming to silence legitimate work, USAID will provide up to $9 million to support a global Defamation Defense Fund for Journalists, which will offer liability coverage to investigative reporters and their organizations. In parallel, the State Department will provide up to $3.5 million to establish a Journalism Protection Platform, which will provide at-risk journalists with digital and physical security training, psychosocial care, legal aid, and other forms of assistance. And the U.S. Government will increase its engagement with the Media Freedom Coalition, an intergovernmental partnership working to advocate for media freedom and the safety of journalists worldwide.

II. Fighting Corruption

  • Supporting Anti-corruption Change Agents. To support and connect anti-corruption actors across civil society, media, academia, and labor organizations, USAID will provide up to $5 million to launch the Empowering Anti-Corruption Change Agents Program, which will promote protective measures for whistleblowers, civil society activists, journalists, and others at risk due to their anti-corruption work. The State Department, joined by other donors, will build on its support for the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium (GACC) by providing up to $6 million to enhance the GACC’s work to connect media and civil society organizations with one another, expose ill-gotten gains, and support legal or policy changes in support of anti-corruption objectives.
  • Curbing Corruption through Strategic and Regulatory Action. Earlier this week, the U.S. Government unveiled its first-ever United States Strategy on Countering Corruption, which provides a blueprint for cracking down on corruption at home and abroad. In support of this strategy, the Treasury Department will enact regulations to increase transparency in the U.S. real estate market by establishing reporting requirements for those closest to real estate transactions. In parallel, the State Department, working with the Departments of Treasury and Justice, will provide up to $15.1 million to launch the Democracies Against Safe Havens Initiative, which will work to build the capacity of partner governments to deny corrupt actors the ability to hide ill-gotten gains through anti-money laundering measures, to encourage like-minded partners to adopt anti-corruption sanctions and visa restriction regimes, and to detect and disrupt complex corruption schemes.
  • Innovating and Partnering to Combat Corruption. To identify novel approaches to address transnational corruption and its enablers, USAID will provide up to $15.7 million to launch the Combating Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge, a partnership platform to crowd-source innovative solutions from businesses, technologists, philanthropies, and other actors.
  • Strengthening Anti-Corruption Ecosystems. To enhance partner countries’ ability to build resilience against kleptocracy and illicit finance, including by supporting beneficial ownership disclosure, strengthening government contracting and procurement regulations, and improving anti-corruption investigation and disruption efforts, USAID will provide up to $11.5 million to launch a Global Accountability Program. Additionally, to advance the fight against corruption at transitionary moments such as during political openings, USAID will provide up to $17.6 million for an Anti-Corruption Response Fund, and the State Department will provide up to $6.5 million to establish a Global Initiative to Galvanize the Private Sector as Partners in Combatting Corruption, to energize and institutionalize existing public sector anti-corruption engagement with the business community.

III. Bolstering Democratic Reformers

  • Empowering Historically Marginalized Groups and Ensuring All Have a Say in Democracy. To advance the civic and political leadership of women, USAID and the State Department will provide up to $33.5 million to launch the Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Civic and Political Leadership Initiative, which will help facilitate the full and safe exercise of women’s rights and representation. The State Department will also provide up to $5 million to launch the Global LGBTQI+ Inclusive Democracy and Empowerment (GLIDE) Fund, a new program under the Global Equality Fund that will facilitate the participation and leadership of LGBTQI+ community members in democratic institutions.
  • Supporting Activists, Workers, and Reform-Minded Leaders. Responding to the increased threat against human rights defenders and activists globally, the State Department will provide up to $10 million for Lifeline: Embattled CSOs Assistance Fund, a multilateral initiative which supports civil society organizations under threat as a consequence of their democracy and human rights work. The State Department will also provide up to $1 million to establish the Bridging Understanding, Integrity, and Legitimacy for Democracy (BUILD) Initiative, which will lay the groundwork for providing career professionals in closed political spaces the skills and resources to navigate democratic openings when they occur. USAID will provide up to $15 million to launch the Powered by the People initiative, which will assist nonviolent social movements by increasing coordination through exchanges, seed grants, and engagement with younger pro-democracy actors. Additionally, the Departments of Labor and State, and USAID, will provide up to $122 million to establish a Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment, and Rights (M-POWER), which will help workers around the world claim their rights and improve wages and conditions by strengthening democratic and independent worker organizations and supporting labor law reform and enforcement.

IV. Advancing Technology for Democracy

  • Advancing an Open, Interoperable, Reliable, and Secure Internet. The United States embraces a vision of an Internet that is open, interoperable, reliable, and secure, and reaffirms our commitment to protecting and respecting human rights online and across the digital ecosystem. The use of digital technologies should reinforce, not weaken, democracy and respect for human rights; offer opportunities for innovation in the digital ecosystem, including businesses large and small; and maintain connections between societies. To achieve this vision and maintain a high level of security, privacy protection, stability, and resilience of the technical infrastructure of the Internet, the U.S. Government will work with partners to protect and fortify the multi-stakeholder system of Internet governance. As part of this effort, the United States will work to strengthen the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), a multi-stakeholder effort to support Internet freedom and promote human rights online. The U.S. Government will seek not only to expand FOC membership, but also to deepen the Coalition’s diplomatic efforts to address the challenges and opportunities of digital technologies.
  • Expanding Digital Democracy Programming. To assist partner countries in realizing the benefits of digital technologies that support democratic values and respect human rights, rather than undermining them, USAID will provide up to $20.3 million to build on programming supporting open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems. This programming will help governments enshrine democratic principles in their countries’ use, development, and governance of technology, while empowering civil society, technologists, and the private sector to encourage the same.
  • Advancing Democracy-Affirming Technologies. To incentivize innovation in technologies that asymmetrically advantage democratic values and governance, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Open Technology Fund, alongside international partners, will provide up to $3.75 million for a series of International Grand Challenges on Democracy-Affirming Technologies. This series of prize competitions will focus on topics such as harnessing artificial intelligence for an open Internet and advancing and deploying privacy-preserving technologies.
  • Defending against Digital Authoritarianism. To reduce the potential for human rights abuses enabled by some dual-use technologies, the U.S. Government and likeminded partners will launch an Export Controls and Human Rights Initiative, in which participating governments will work together to determine how export control tools could better monitor and, as appropriate, restrict the proliferation of such technologies. In parallel, to counter authoritarian censorship of the Internet, the State Department will provide up to $4 million to establish and seed a Multilateral Surge and Sustain Fund for Anti-Censorship Technology, which will enable the connection of more users to the uncensored Internet, sustain those connections in times of greatest need, and invite likeminded partners to contribute jointly.

V. Defending Free and Fair Elections and Political Processes

  • Strengthening Electoral Integrity. To advance electoral integrity globally, USAID will provide up to $2.5 million to launch a Coalition for Securing Electoral Integrity, which will bring together governmental and non-governmental partners within the international electoral integrity community to develop norms, guiding principles, and codes of conduct on prioritized electoral integrity issues, while promoting adherence to those basic standards.
  • Piloting and Scaling Innovative Approaches to Defend Democratic Elections. As a complement to the Coalition for Securing Electoral Integrity, USAID will provide up to $17.5 million to establish a Defending Democratic Elections Fund to pilot, scale, and apply evidence-based responses to threats to electoral integrity and related political processes globally. This Fund will address issues such as cybersecurity; domestic and foreign electoral manipulation; electoral violence, including gender-based violence; illicit domestic and foreign political financing; election-related disinformation; and barriers to the political participation of marginalized populations.

Finally, as part of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal, the U.S. Government will launch two new cross-cutting rapid response programs aimed at supporting the Summit for Democracy’s objectives.

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  • Demonstrating that Democracy Delivers. To help countries experiencing a democratic transition demonstrate democracy’s tangible benefits, USAID will provide up to $55 million to launch Partnerships for Democracy. This new, global, and flexible funding mechanism will enable the U.S. Government to surge cross-sectoral assistance to reform-minded partner governments to assist them in delivering visible benefits to their populations in areas such as health care and education.
  • Advancing the Democratic Renewal Agenda. To advance global democracy priorities that frequently intersect, such as strengthening rule of law, fighting corruption, bolstering civilian security, and promoting human rights, the State Department will provide up to $10 million to launch the Fund for Democratic Renewal (FDR). This flexible, rapid-response fund will enable State Department bureaus and offices under the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights to respond collectively and collaboratively to support partners working on democracy’s front lines.

The first line of the tweet; Around the world, more than ever, democracy needs champions; comes at the 2 minute and 8 second mark of the video stream tweet shared above.

I’ve listened to his opening remarks twice so far and can’t find the second line; with each new generation, we must work to ensure that democracies can deliver for their people; I’ll have to review the transcript when it’s posted…

They finally posted the transcript; I was right the second sentence isn’t a remark quote to text tweet…

The Labor Department released the following PDF on Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims:

In the week ending December 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 184,000, a decrease of 43,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969 when it was 182,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 5,000 from 222,000 to 227,000. The 4-week moving average was 218,750, a decrease of 21,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 7, 2020 when it was 215,250. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 238,750 to 240,000. 12/09/2021.

The White House issued the following Presidential statement:

Our economic recovery has two key components: getting America back to work, and getting prices and supply chains back to normal. Simply put, it is about jobs and prices.

Today, we received further evidence that our jobs recovery is one of the strongest ever. The number of Americans filing for unemployment last week was the smallest since 1969. The four-week average is now near the average for my predecessor even before the pandemic hit. This follows last week’s news that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2%, the fastest year-to-date decline in unemployment on record. We’ve added nearly six million jobs this year – the most of any first year President in history. And the number of people receiving unemployment benefits – which was over 18 million when I took office — is now at about 2 million. It is the fastest movement of people from relying on government support to earning a weekly paycheck in history. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, and our successful vaccination program, Americans are back at work at a record-setting pace. And families have more money in their pockets: Americans on average have about $100 more in their pockets each month than they did last year, after accounting for inflation.

But even as we’ve built this incredible jobs and economic recovery, we have struggled – like virtually every other developed economy dealing with the pandemic – with rising prices and supply chain woes. I have taken strong, aggressive measures to combat these challenges –with a port action plan, the largest release from our strategic petroleum reserve ever, and actions to combat anti-competitive price gouging, including in industries that affect food prices. And, I am pleased that yesterday the House passed on a bipartisan basis the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which includes good first steps on the type of reform that will lower costs for American companies and consumers, and strengthen America’s global competitiveness.

Tomorrow, we will get a report on consumer prices that experts expect to be elevated again, driven in part by energy prices and used car prices. Fortunately, in the weeks since the data for tomorrow’s inflation report was collected, energy prices have dropped. The price of gas at the pump has already begun to fall nationally, and real pump prices in 20 states are now lower than the 20 year average. This week, natural gas prices are down more than 25% from their November average. In recent weeks, we are also beginning to see a decline in used car prices on the wholesale market which should translate into lower prices for Americans in the months ahead. The information being released tomorrow on energy in November does not reflect today’s reality, and it does not reflect the expected price decreases in the weeks and months ahead, such as in the auto market. We need to focus on concrete actions we can take to address elevated prices and to lower costs for American families – including by lowering prescription drug costs, health care costs, childcare costs and housing costs with my Build Back Better plan.

White 12/09/2021.

When Biden Bits was posted for Wednesday, President Biden had tweeted 2 times. He added 6 tweets giving him a Wednesday Tweeting Total of 8 tweets and 0 retweets.

The YouTube is 37 minutes and 29 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.

President Biden: And we’re here talking about rebuilding America, investing in America, building a better America.

President Biden: We’re also going to reinvest in our country and our people to reclaim our leadership to create millions of jobs by building a better America — (applause) — with the best infrastructure in the world, built overwhelmingly with prevailing wage, union — union, union.  (Applause.)

From the article:

Olaf Scholz took his oath of office at the Bundestag on Wednesday as he became Germany’s new chancellor.

He replaced Angela Merkel, who is standing down after 16 years at the helm.

Scholz, who omitted the optional phrase “so help me God” during the swearing-in ceremony, smiled as he was formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Merkel wished Scholz luck at a handover ceremony at the chancellery.
“Take possession of this house and work with it for the good of our country,” she said. Scholz thanked Merkel for her work, telling her “you made your mark on this country.”

Scholz got the support of 395 politicians in the Bundestag on Wednesday morning.

The vote was not a surprise. Scholz’s centre-left Social-Democratic party of Germany (SPD) and its coalition partners, the Free Democrats and the Greens, have 416 seats in the 736 lower house of the German parliament.

Scholz said on Tuesday that the new government — which forces Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) into opposition for the first time since 2005 — “takes up the major challenges of this decade and well beyond that”.

If it succeeds, he said, “that is a mandate to be re-elected together at the next election”.

Euro 12/08/2021.

The White House published the following fact-sheet; President Biden Signs Executive Order Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Economy Through Federal Sustainability:

U.S. Government Will Lead by Example to Leverage Scale and Procurement Power to Drive Clean, Healthy, and Resilient Operations

Today, President Biden will sign an executive order that demonstrates how the United States will leverage its scale and procurement power to lead by example in tackling the climate crisis. The executive order will reduce emissions across federal operations, invest in American clean energy industries and manufacturing, and create clean, healthy, and resilient communities. The President is building on his whole-of-government effort to tackle the climate crisis in a way that creates well-paying jobs, grows industries, and makes the country more economically competitive.

The President’s executive order directs the federal government to use its scale and procurement power to achieve five ambitious goals:

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  • 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) by 2030, at least half of which will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 demand;
  • 100 percent zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027;
  • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement no later than 2050, including a Buy Clean policy to promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions;
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50 percent emissions reduction by 2032; and
  • Net-zero emissions from overall federal operations by 2050, including a 65 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

In addition to the five new commitments that form the pillars of today’s executive action, the President also directed the federal government to orient its procurement and operations efforts in line with the following principles and goals:

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  • Achieving climate resilient infrastructure and operations;
  • Building a climate- and sustainability-focused workforce;
  • Advancing environmental justice and equity;
  • Prioritizing the purchase of sustainable products, such as products without added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); and
  • Accelerating progress through domestic and international partnerships.

Today’s executive action is a part of the President’s broader commitment to increasing investments in America’s manufacturing industries and workers to build back our country better.  By transforming how the federal government builds, buys, and manages its assets and operations, the federal government will support the growth of America’s clean energy and clean technology industries, while accelerating America’s progress toward achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035.

President Biden’s executive order demonstrates how the United States government will lead by example to provide a strong foundation for American businesses to compete and win globally in the clean energy economy while creating well paying, union jobs at home. Today’s executive action further reinforces the President’s directive to Buy American and ensure that equity and environmental justice are key considerations in federal operations planning and decision making.

The White House also released a detailed description of this plan: The Federal Sustainability Plan: Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Industries and Creating Jobs Through Federal Sustainability.

White 12/08/2021.

Through this executive order, the federal government will transform its portfolio of 300,000 buildings, fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks, and annual purchasing power of $650 billion in goods and services to:

  1. Transition federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and buildings powered by carbon pollution-free electricity, which will reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change, and increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050.  
  • Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce, advance equity and environmental justice, and leverage partnerships to accelerate progress.

Transition federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and energy efficient buildings powered by carbon pollution-free electricity:

  • Achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity use by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 basis. The federal government will work with utilities, developers, technology firms, financiers and others to purchase electricity produced from resources that generate no carbon emissions, including solar and wind, for all its operations by 2030. Half of the federal government’s 100 percent carbon pollution-free annual electricity demand will be procured on a 24/7 basis, meaning that the federal government’s real-time demand for electricity will be met with clean energy every hour, every day, and produced within the same regional grid where the electricity is consumed. With the scope and scale of this electricity demand, the federal government expects it will catalyze the development of at least 10 gigawatts of new American clean electricity production by 2030, spurring the creation of new union jobs and moving the country closer to achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035.
  • Transition to 100 percent acquisition of zero-emission vehicles by 2035 for the federal vehicle fleet, including 100 percent light duty vehicle acquisition by 2027. The federal government will work with American vehicle, battery, and charging equipment manufacturers and installers to transform its fleet into the largest zero-emission vehicle fleet in the Nation, reaching 100 percent zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035. This will accelerate the advancement of America’s industrial capacity to supply zero-emission vehicles and electric vehicle batteries and create and sustain good union jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and skilled-trades.
  • Modernize the federal buildings portfolio to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, including a 50 percent reduction in building emissions by 2032. The federal government will work across existing real property and during new building construction and major renovations to increase water and energy efficiency, reduce waste, electrify systems, and promote sustainable locations for federal facilities to strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which federal facilities are located. Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration will implement the first-ever Federal Building Performance Standard, and will use performance contracting to improve buildings with no up-front costs.

Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change, and increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050.

  • Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change. The intensifying impacts of climate change present physical, operational, and financial risks to federal infrastructure, agency missions, and our services to the American people. Agencies will implement the actions identified through their October 7, 2021, Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans and modernize federal policy, programs, operations, and infrastructure to support climate resilience investment. By taking action now to better manage and mitigate climate risks, we will minimize future disruptions and destruction to federal operations, assets, and programs and ensure the federal government can continue providing critical services to the Nation.
  • Increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050. The companies that supply the federal government are critical partners in achieving our climate goals and growing the economy and American jobs. Cutting emissions from the federal government’s procurement also means buying materials with a lower carbon footprint. The federal government will launch a “buy clean” initiative for low-carbon materials and prioritize the purchase of sustainable products, such as products without added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Through these actions, the federal government will provide a large and stable signal to the market for sustainable and low-carbon goods made in America, advancing America’s industrial capacity to supply the goods and materials of the future while growing good jobs for American workers.

Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce, advance equity and environmental justice, and leverage partnerships to accelerate progress.

  • Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce. The federal government’s 4.2 million employees are critical stakeholders and leaders in the shift to sustainable and resilient operations. The federal government will build capacity through engagement, education, and training so that federal workers are ready to embed sustainability, climate adaptation, and environmental stewardship analysis and action in their jobs as we work to Build Back Better.
  • Advance equity and environmental justice.The federal government will advance the goals of the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative by ensuring that economic equity and environmental justice are key considerations in operations planning and decision making. A federal environmental justice representative will serve on the newly established Chief Sustainability Officer Council. To incorporate equity, agencies will implement this executive order consistent with the President’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, which helps ensure that government contracting and procurement opportunities are available on an equal basis.
  • Collaboration with leading American unions, businesses, States, Tribes, municipalities, and other countries will accelerate progress and catalyze greater climate action at home and abroad. The federal government will build upon its newly launched Greening Government Initiative, which convenes governments around the world to collaborate on greening government operations. Further, the Administration will launch a Presidential Sustainability Executives Program, placing senior leaders from the private and non-profit sectors to serve across the federal government, bringing innovative perspectives and critical expertise to achieve these ambitious, and imperative, sustainability and climate preparedness goals.

Actions Agencies are Taking to Meet the Goals of the Sustainability Executive Order

Across the federal government, agencies are moving expeditiously to meet the President’s call for action and are positioned to meet the ambitious goals of his executive order and Federal Sustainability Plan. Highlights are included below:

100 percent CFE by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 Basis

  • In 2022, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Edwards Air Force Base in California will add 520 megawatts (MW) of CFE to the grid by completing one of the country’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) array projects and in the process creating more than 1,000 union and other construction jobs.
  • In 2022, DOD’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii will complete construction of the nation’s largest 100 percent clean energy microgrid. By leveraging a 14-megawatt (MW) solar facility paired with a 70 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system sited on the base, the Pacific Missile Range Facility can become self-sufficient for all its electricity needs in the event of a loss of transmission feed from the utility grid.

100 Percent ZEV Acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent Light-Duty ZEV Acquisitions by 2027

  • In 2021, the Department of the Interior (DOI)began transitioning its fleet of U.S. Park Police lightweight motorcycles and dirt bikes to 100 percent ZEVs at its Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco locations, with plans to reach a 100 ZEV fleet by 2025.
  • In early 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin field testing the Ford Mustang Mach-E ZEV for use in its law enforcement fleet, which currently consists of over 30,000 vehicles.

Net-Zero Emissions Buildings by 2045, including a 50 percent reduction by 2032

  • In 2023, theDepartment of Transportation will complete its Volpe Transportation Center project that collapses six buildings into a low-emissions building with rooftop solar PV panels, ZEV charging stations for the federal fleet and employee vehicles, green and cool roof technologies, a rainwater reclamation and reuse system, and a climate-resilient above-grade data center.
  • By 2022, the Department of the Treasury willhave completed the majority of its energy infrastructure improvements at an Internal Revenue Service Center outside of New York City through a 17-year, $30.9 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC). The ESPC has so far delivered nearly $14 million in capital improvements and $2.2 million in annual utility bill savings. ESPCs allow federal agencies to procure energy savings and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs or special appropriations from Congress.

Net-Zero Emissions Procurement by 2050

  • In 2021, DOD collected information from its suppliers on their efforts to measure and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. DOD is using this information to develop low-carbon purchasing guidelines that will become part of its standard operating procedures.
  • In 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) will require contractors to disclose the embodied carbon of building materials for new building and major modernization contracts. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions (mostly carbon dioxide) resulting from the mining, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transportation, and installation of materials. 

Net-Zero Emissions from overall Federal Operations by 2050, including a 65 percent reduction by 2030

  • By January 2022, DOD’s Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia anticipates achieving net-zero energy status.

Climate Resilient Infrastructure and Operations

  • More than 20 major federal agencies released plans describing how they will integrate climate-readiness across missions and programs and bolster resilience of Federal assets. For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is collecting building-level data across HUD programs to map existing climate risks to help inform the Department on how to best address climate impacts and protect HUD-assisted assets and their occupants.

Develop a Climate- and Sustainability-Focused Workforce

  • The Department will also include climate change literacy in new employee orientation material.

Advance Environmental Justice and Equity

  • In 2021, GSA launched an Environmental Justice and Equity Task Group to identify and propose effective approaches to improve environmental justice and equity in federal sustainable building processes, enhancing engagement with communities and key partners throughout the building lifecycle.
  • In 2021, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) convened Climate and Equity roundtables across the country to gather feedback to inform how NOAA provides climate services, engages with underserved and vulnerable communities, and strengthens internal processes to respond to expressed needs.
  • As outlined in its October 2021 Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate ChangeDHS is incorporating the need to achieve equity as guiding principle through all lines of effort described in the framework.

Accelerate Progress Through Domestic and International Partnerships

  • In 2021, the United States and Canada launched the Greening Government Initiative, a first-of-its-kind initiative that will enable countries to share lessons learned, promote innovation, and accelerate national efforts to green government operations and help meet Paris Agreement commitments. Today, the 39 GGI participating countries are beginning share key organizational features and policies and identify potential areas for collaboration.
  • In 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England’s Boston Healthcare System partnered with National Grid on a plan to transition its 70-car fleet to ZEVs. Consistent with National Grid’s recommendations, VA is working with GSA to procure approximately 25 ZEVs in the 2022 acquisition cycle.

Full disclosure: I was gonna share the EO too in full, but that’s a heavy lift; so I’m just gonna share the link to the EO, here….

From what I’ve managed to read so far, it’s very long did I mention that? I did, anyhoo, the fact-sheet is just the less legal worded or formatted EO, so far.

The daily briefing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. D.C., time.

This is an Open Thread.

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Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.