President Bush Calls for Federal Energy Conservation
October 5, 2005
President Bush issued a memorandum to federal departments and agencies on September 26th, directing them to conserve natural gas, electricity, gasoline, and diesel fuel to the maximum extent possible, consistent with the effective discharge of the federal government's duties. In particular, federal agencies are being asked to temporarily curtail non-essential travel and other activities that use gasoline or diesel fuel and to encourage their employees to carpool, telecommute, and use public transportation. The memo also directs federal agencies to conserve natural gas and electricity during periods of peak consumption by shifting energy-intensive activities to non-peak periods and by procuring and using efficient Energy Star-rated appliances and products. The memo calls for federal agencies to report on their fuel conservation efforts within 30 days. See the President's memorandum.
The White House aims to lead the energy conservation effort by example. In a press conference accompanying the release of the memo, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan noted that President Bush has directed the White House staff to take steps to keep their offices warmer during the air conditioning season, scale back non-essential travel, and find other ways that to conserve energy. The White House will be sending notices to staff reminding them to turn off lights, printers, copiers, and computers when they leave the office and encouraging them to share rides and use mass transit. McClellan even suggested that the presidential motorcade may be scaled back somewhat. And one immediate change is apparent: the White House has its first shared car, a Honda Civic Hybrid from Flexcar. The car-sharing service dubbed the vehicle "Flexcar One" and made it available to White House workers that take mass transit to work. See the White House "press gaggle" and the Flexcar press release.
Federal energy-saving efforts are led by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), part of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. See the FEMP Web site.