Biden Bans the Use of Fossil Fuels in New Federal Buildings

(Bloomberg) -- Fossil fuel use will be banned in new federal buildings starting in 2030 under a Biden administration rule that the natural gas industry fought for more than a decade.

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The final rule, announced Wednesday, adds the federal government’s heft to the movement to electrify buildings as part of the fight against climate change, phasing out gas. New federal buildings constructed between 2025 and 2029 must achieve a 90% decrease in fossil fuel consumption, relative to 2003 levels. Those built or substantially renovated from 2030 onward must have no on-site fossil fuel use.

Over the next 30 years, the rule is expected to cut carbon emissions by 2 million metric tons and methane emissions by 16 thousand tons, roughly equivalent to the emissions from 310,000 homes in a single year, according to Energy Department estimates.

The mandate, authorized by a 2007 energy law signed by President George W. Bush, has been panned by groups such as the American Gas Association, which say natural gas is more affordable than electricity. Their opposition helped block the Obama administration’s attempts to establish the rule.

“President Biden has charged the Federal Government to lead by example by transforming its footprint of over 300,000 buildings to be more energy efficient and climate resilient,” said Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, in a statement.

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