Biden Calls For Adoption of EVs and Train Travel for Government Personnel

Biden Administration Urges All US Government Personnel to Shift to EVs and Trains
Biden Administration Urges All US Government Personnel to Shift to EVs and Trains
(Image: Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Biden Administration’s Push for Eco-Friendly Government Travel (EVs)

The Biden administration has rolled out a fresh directive, urging all government employees to opt for eco-friendly modes of transportation during official trips. This move encompasses train travel and electric vehicles, including electric Uber or Lyft rides. The directive is especially noteworthy given the government’s status as the country’s largest employer, boasting an annual budget of $2.8 billion for business-related travel, potentially making a significant dent in carbon emissions.

To comprehend the magnitude of this shift, consider that in 2022 alone, federal employees took over 2.8 million flights, rented 2.3 million vehicles, and embarked on 33,000 rail journeys, according to the White House.

The Biden administration’s announcement directs all federal agencies to prioritize sustainable transportation for both domestic and international official and local travel. This encompasses the use of electric vehicles, either through rentals or ride-share services like Lyft or Uber. However, there’s a catch – the directive specifies that electric vehicle rentals should not exceed the cost of the “most affordable comparable vehicle available,” presumably as a precaution against potential criticism for overspending taxpayer money, especially in an election year.

Furthermore, civil servants are encouraged to choose rail travel over planes or cars for trips shorter than 250 miles, provided it’s a viable and cost-effective option. The use of public transport is highly promoted as well.

Federal Government’s Comprehensive Approach to Sustainable Practices

This directive follows President Biden’s December 2021 executive order, which directed the government to cease purchasing gas-powered vehicles by 2035. It also outlined that all light-duty federal vehicle acquisitions by 2027 must be electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

According to the White House, the federal government has already procured over 14,000 zero-emission vehicles and set up 5,500 charging ports. With a fleet exceeding 650,000 vehicles and an annual purchase of approximately 50,000, the U.S. government is taking significant steps toward greener practices.

Additionally, the administration aims to formulate a “sustainable aviation strategic plan,” compelling airlines to disclose details about their fuel and operational efficiencies. This includes investments in sustainable aviation fuel, as reported by Reuters.

Government agencies have been given a 120-day window to report their action plans to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

Moreover, California is set to align with the federal government’s initiative by issuing its own guidelines by June 2024. These guidelines will encourage state employees to embrace zero-emissions travel during official business, mirroring the commitment to sustainability at the national level.

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Source(s): US News

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