OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Feds to clean up their act

LEADING BY EXAMPLE: President Obama ordered a 40 percent reduction in the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions, part of an effort to lead by example and spur private-sector emissions cuts.

The government's own cuts won't mean much, since it only accounts for 0.6 percent of the country's emissions, despite the fact that it's the largest energy consumer.


"These are ambitious goals, but we know that they're achievable goals," Obama said at an Energy Department Thursday event shortly after signing the executive order.

Some of the private-sector cuts were announced Thursday along with the executive orders. Major contractors and suppliers to the federal government, like IBM, Northrop Grumman and Honeywell announced their own efforts to better track and reduce greenhouse gases.

Brian DeeseBrian DeeseSunday shows preview: Washington prepares for an inauguration and impeachment; coronavirus surges across the US Biden's chief aide says president wants teams, no rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? MORE, a top adviser to Obama, outlined some of the steps agencies will take to reach the goal: better analytics to track energy efficiency, renewable energy installations on military bases and contracting that incorporates greenhouse gas guidelines.

Read more here.

NOTHING ON KEYSTONE: Deese came to the White House's daily press briefing and faced questions about the president's review of the Keystone XL pipeline.

But Deese ducked the questions.

"This is an issue that's in the process in the State Department," he said. "And that process is where it is. And so I don't have any news on that."

Deese repeatedly refused to weigh in beyond what Obama's already said.

On whether he would recuse himself from the matter like his predecessor John Podesta: "This is an issue that is ... in a separate process. And we are focused on that process running its course."

On the timing of Obama's decision: "I have nothing for you on timing."

ON TAP FRIDAY I: The Georgetown University Law Center will host a symposium on national security law and the implications for climate change.

Rest of Friday's agenda ...

The American Society for Environmental History will continue its annual conference on the role of environmental values and governance in changing societies.

MobilizeGreen will finish its annual conference with a discussion on green careers and a career fair.

NEWS BITE: Officials at Florida's environmental agency allegedly suspended an employee and required him to get a doctor's note to come back after he mentioned "climate change" in meeting minutes.

The report on employee Barton Bibler comes from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), shortly after reports accusing Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) of prohibiting Department of Environmental Protection employees from mentioning climate change, global warming or sustainability.

Bibler was reprimanded for mentioning climate change and told to take two days off before being given the medical release form for an unspecified "medical condition and behavior," according to PEER.

The group is demanding that the agency's watchdog investigate the matter.


Some New Jersey residents are angry that the federal government is considering allowing offshore drilling near Virginia's coast, NJ.com reports. 

Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Elon Musk unveiled updates Thursday to the Tesla Model S aimed at making sure drivers are never too far from battery chargers when they need a charge, ABC News reports.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has $1.4 billion in fossil fuel investments, the Guardian reports.


Check out Thursday's stories ...

- McConnell to states: EPA climate rule is illegal
- Bipartisan group asks Obama to fire chemical agency chief
- Arctic sea ice reaches lowest point on record
- Reid can't block Yucca progress, GOP rep says
- Senate GOP lays out case for oil exports
- Obama to seek 40 percent cut in federal greenhouse gases
- California officials to propose emergency drought measures
- Obama to order emissions cuts in federal agencies

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