President Obama orders federal government to triple renewable energy usage by 2020

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Renewable energy will continue to fuel President Barack Obama’s nationwide climate action plan, said the White House today in an executive order on clean energy.

President Obama will require the federal government to obtain 20 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.

"The government currently has a goal of using 7.5 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, but Obama said recent increases in renewable energy supplies make the new 20 percent goal achievable by 2020," AP reported Wednesday evening.

The Wilderness Society applauded President Obama for taking tangible steps to address the climate crisis earlier this year. The nation's public lands continue to provide clean air and water to protect public health and its leaders and citizens must ensure that large areas of land remain intact.

The administration intends for the new clean energy usage target to reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs.

As part of this effort, agencies will identify formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites to target for renewable energy projects, providing valuable opportunities to return those lands to productive use. The Wilderness Society has been at the forefront of this effort to convert brownfields into renewable energy sites so that less of our wild lands are used for energy production.

It’s worth noting that the U.S. has already met the bold goal President Obama set to double renewable energy production nationwide from 2008 levels, thanks to an influx of investments in the clean energy sector.

The president's climate action package, which is inarguably the most ambitious plan set forth by any American president to combat climate change, plots a course to reduce global warming emissions through an array of initiatives, including doubling our nation’s renewable energy production on public lands, increasing the federal government’s role in purchasing renewable energy and implementing energy efficiency programs.