Federal owner is phasing out fossil fuel equipment

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The federal government’s property management agency is working to phase out fossil fuels.

The General Services Administration announced Thursday that funding from the Cut Inflation Act will not be used to install fossil fuel-based equipment in any of its 1,500 buildings across the country. This includes natural gas boilers, industrial pumps or chillers.

The pledge reflects the Biden administration’s drive to infuse climate policies into agencies not traditionally seen as energy or climate-related — from the GSA to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. The GSA is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century.

“It’s not a pipe dream,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “It’s a real plan, and we have the momentum and the money to make it happen.”

The Inflation Reduction Act allocated $3.4 billion to the GSA, which the agency will spend through its federal buildings fund. The program includes support for sustainable building materials and the conversion of federal facilities to high-performance green buildings.

Historically, when the GSA needed to replace a broken piece of equipment like a chiller, the agency got a similar chiller. The new approach will promote the use of newer and greener technologies.

“By committing that none of the GSA’s IRA dollars will go towards locking in new fossil fuel equipment, we are breaking this cycle and creating demand for clean energy technologies,” said Jetta Wong, GSA Senior Climate Advisor.

The agency says it has an $11 billion backlog of equipment that needs to be replaced. It plans to announce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects by the end of the year.

“There’s no time to waste,” Carnahan said.

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