Congress to Reduce Carbon Footprint of Capitol Complex

Washington, DC (June 11, 2007)- Congress says it is going to join the war against global warming by reducing its own emissions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has set a goal of making House operations carbon neutral during this session of Congress, and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has sponsored legislation with the long-term aim of making the entire Capitol complex, 23 buildings where some 15,000 people work, carbon neutral by 2020.

Currently the complex accounts for about 316,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the same as 57,455 cars. About one-third of that comes from the combustion of fossil fuels at the 97-year-old Capitol Power Plant, which provides steam for heating and cooling. The plant is the only coal burning facility in the District of Colombia. More than half the electricity Congress buys is generated by coal, while only 2 percent comes from renewable fuels. In addition, the Government Accountability Office said in a recent report, there is not one hybrid-electric vehicle in the legislative branch fleet of more than 300 vehicles.
“The House must lead by example and it is time for Congress to act on its own carbon footprint,” Pelosi said in announcing the initiative that would also shift the House to 100 percent renewable electric power, Pelosi said.
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