By Cristall Grant
Early in his term, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance,” which sets sustainability goals for federal agencies and focuses on greening the government. EPA is implementing this in many ways, including through the management of our fleet of vehicles leased from the General Services Administration. Here in Region 2, employees often use these government-owned vehicles to drive to sites, conduct sampling or inspections, or attend public meetings. As the leases for EPA Region 2 vehicles expire, we are moving toward more fuel efficient vehicles.
What are the benefits to increased fuel efficiency? For EPA, it reduces our reliance on gasoline, trims our operating costs and shrinks our environmental footprint. For the community, it means that we are putting less green house gases in the air and that we are contributing less to smog that impacts our air quality and health.
Our fleet also consists of some hybrid vehicles now, which is a great thing. This is better for the environment and, in general, a smart buy for many reasons:
- There’s a federal tax deduction for hybrid buyers. Fact is, since 2004, hybrid vehicle buyers received a $1,500 federal tax break
- Drivers don’t need to change their habits at all. You don’t have to learn anything or do anything different to drive a hybrid.
- You won’t have a guilty conscience for polluting the environment – hybrids emit up to 97% less toxic emissions and half as much carbon dioxide as the average car.
The EPA fleet makes it easier on the environment and riders. Fuel efficient cars can save you money on gas, while saving the environment from greenhouse gas emissions.
As the summer approaches, and you start thinking about jumping in your car and heading on vacation, I hope you, too, will think about the benefits of greater fuel efficiency. For my job, I have researched fuel efficient compact cars and even newly introduced electric vehicles. You can do your own research by checking out EPA’s Green Vehicle site to look at new cars and their fuel efficiency. You can even compare it to your current set of wheels!
About the author: Cristall Grant started her career at EPA in the Student Career Experience Program with EPA Headquarters in 2008. She now is a full-time employee in the Facilities and Management Branch in Region 2’s NY office. Cristall has a degree in Finance and Management and is currently pursuing her MBA in Human Resources. In her spare time she likes to enjoy cultural events, music and shopping.