On June 21st, Speaker Pelosi announced the completion of the final 'Green the Capitol' report, which confirms her initial plan to immediately begin reducing the levels of carbon dioxide emitted by House operations and buildings, but also details how the institution will dramatically reduce its overall energy consumption - by 50 percent - in just 10 years.
Two new elements of the final, revised plan also call for the House to purchase carbon offsets, allowing for the investment in carbon dioxide reduction projects elsewhere in the United States, and for day-to-day operations and business practices to not have a negative impact on the environment by using non-toxic cleaning products, increasing water conservation and significantly improving recycling.
The 10-year plan to reduce energy consumption in the House calls for a reduction of 5 percent a year, which is more than twice what the 2005 Energy Policy Act requires of federal buildings.
The dramatic reduction in the House's reliance on electricity will come from:
- The widespread installation of energy efficient lighting
- The redesign and centralization of computer systems and other electronic office equipment
- The upgrading of all heating and cooling mechanisms to maximize efficiency and meet 'green' standards
- The evaluation and improvement of miscellaneous House operations and processes to maximize energy efficiencies
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