Less Hot Air From the Federal Government?

Expanding an initiative originally authored by President George W. Bush in 2007, President Obama signed an executive order setting emissions targets for federal agencies to be met by the year 2020. Federal agencies now have 90 days to spell out how much they will reduce the greenhouse gas load from their facilities, with the more difficult setting of reduction goals for employee commutes and travel due by the middle of next year. Obama’s revision of the Executive Order added long-term goals missing in Bush’s original.

Noble as these ideals may be (cough, cough), the difference between this executive order and the pending cap-n-tax legislation before Congress is that private-sector companies would be penalized for not meeting the goals set by legislation, whereas the executive order exempts all federal agencies from any penalty for not meeting the guidelines. Indeed, the order states, “This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the Federal Government and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States.”

If only the onerous environmental regulations proposed by Congress and put in place by faceless Beltway bureaucrats for the rest of us would be so lax.


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