The big green buy
Posted: August 31st, 2010, 8:54 am
An interesting article about how the government could fund green technologies through purchasing.
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/16-8Consider this: altogether federal, state and local government constitute more than 38 percent of our GDP. Allow that to sink in for a moment. The federal government will spend $3.6 trillion this year. In more concrete terms, Uncle Sam owns or leases more than 430,000 buildings (mostly large office buildings) and 650,000 vehicles. The federal government is the world's largest consumer of energy and vehicles, and the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitter. Add state and local government activity, and all those numbers grow by about a third again.
A redirection of government purchasing would create massive markets for clean power, electric vehicles and efficient buildings, as well as for more sustainably produced furniture, paper, cleaning supplies, uniforms, food and services. If government bought green, it would drive down marketplace prices sufficiently that the momentum toward green tech would become self-reinforcing and spread to the private sector.