"As the largest consumer of energy in the U.S. economy, the Federal government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies," said President Obama. "This Executive Order builds on the momentum of the Recovery Act to help create a clean energy economy and demonstrates the Federal government’s commitment, over and above what is already being done, to reducing emissions and saving money." You can continue reading the press release here.
This is good news people—especially since we’re about to see some massive development up the street via St. Elizabeth’s and DHS. (I’ll post my notes from last night’s meeting later on). But it also shows Big Brother finally acting as the mentor that he's supposed to be. Obama's administration isn't just pushing the Federal government, they are pushing for sustainability efforts to trickle down to all communities. Shelley Poticha, head of Obama’s administration’s inter-agency sustainable communities push, discusses how sustainability can’t afford to be stereotyped as an option solely for Prius-driving elites. “Your zip code should not determine your future” states Deputy Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ron Sims. Poticha’s group is attempting to bring the nationwide green development effort “to scale”—to bring transit use, bicycle commuting, and other environmentally friendly practices from single-digit “market share” to 30 percent or 40 percent usage in most communities. And with at least $150 million in funding in both the House and Senate HUD spending bills, perhaps River East can become a livable, sustainable community.
Via Streetsblog Capital Hill, Elana Shor discusses Poticha’s office’s three missions—one of which appears to be its most significant: examining whether, and how, Washington should change its definition of “affordable” housing to include transportation and energy costs, not just the price of the residence. “A federal recognition of the cost burden posted by high gas prices and road congestion would help give low-income workers the option of remaining in cities and enjoying the benefits of walkable neighborhoods even as high demand pushes urban housing prices ever higher.”
Now wouldn't it be nice, if people would associate the word "affordable" with healthy and sustainable. I think we are living in an exciting time, not only in River East, but in our nation, as President Obama and his administration begin to lay the foundation for a cleaner, more prosperous future.