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President Joe Biden will direct federal agencies on Dec. 8 to spend billions on electric cars, clean electricity and upgraded buildings with the goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the White House said.
The order will direct federal agencies to buy only electric vehicles by 2035 and transition federal buildings to net-zero emissions by 2045. The U.S. government will also launch a “buy clean” initiative for low-carbon materials and aim to buy products without “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, according to the White House.
The order is Biden’s latest move to leverage the federal government’s wallet to achieve his policy goals. Biden last week directed federal contracting officials to increase the share of dollars spent at Black- and Latino-owned businesses and earlier this year requested that federal officials write a plan to buy electric vehicles as a way to encourage companies and consumers to invest in the technology. Environmental officials have yet to publish that plan, even though Biden’s order asked for it to be done in April.
Federal spending on contracts reached a record high of $686 billion in fiscal year 2020, up 14% from the previous year due to COVID-19, according to Bloomberg Government’s federal contracting data. Defense contractor giants Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Technologies Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. received a combined $129.5 billion of that spending.
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