President Obama signs a document.

President Obama – who once famously declared that he has a pen and a phone, and therefore doesn’t need Congress – signed yet another executive order on Thursday, this time curbing carbon dioxide emissions among the federal agencies.

The gist of his order scales back greenhouse gas emission levels among the federal agencies by 40 percent over the next decade.

Obama, speaking from the Department of Energy, said: “We’re proving it is possible to grow our economy robustly while at the same time doing the right thing for the environment and tackling climate change in a serious way.”

A White House spokesman said earlier in the day Obama’s intent with the order was to “lead by example” in the public relations and policy battle to restrict carbon dioxide emissions and other gases that some scientists say cause global warming, The Hill reported.

The order requires federal agencies to cut back emission of perceived greenhouse gases by 40 percent of 2008 levels. Obama’s also demanding federal agencies get 30 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

“These are ambitious goals but we know they are achievable goals,” Obama said, various media reported.

Announcement of the new executive order has already had a trickle-down effect. Several companies that contract with the federal government are planning on announcing their own voluntary scale-back of carbon dioxide emission levels, the New York Times said.

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Obama’s previously stated goal was to reduce America’s emission of so-dubbed greenhouse gases by up to 28 percent of 2005 levels, by the year 2030. Economists have warned such cuts would dramatically increase energy and manufacturing costs, leading to sharp price hikes to consumers. And many scientists say the cuts would do little to reduce global warming – and that the entire policy push is a political agenda to advance personal interests.

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Obama has not been able to pass his emission controls in Congress, even when the House and Senate were dominated by Democrats.


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