The Sustainable Executive Order – 13514

The Department of Energy (DOE/FEMP) is holding a monthly online seminar focusing on sustainability. The sessions provide support for legions of federal workers that are leading the nation into our new green economy.

The first session (of six) focuses on Executive Order 13514, commonly called the sustainable order. The following training sessions are as follows:

  • Mar 4 – Energy 101
  • Apr 1 – Water Efficiency Planning and Implementation
  • May 6 – Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting
  • Jun 3 – Advanced Metering Requirements and Best Practices
  • Jul 1 – Operations, Maintenance, and Commissioning

Each session is available for free through online video streaming.

I attended the first one (virtually) and here are my notes. Also, I am keeping out the presenters emails but if you have questions and would like their contacts, please let me know.

—-

“As the largest consumer of energy in the US economy the Federal government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies.”

The thinking behind the Order is to:

  • have the federal government “lead by example”
  • “take pride in agency accomplishments” (highlight work already being done)
  • encourage agencies to think “integrated planning”
  • push/pull/force agencies to reach across “stovepipes”

The Federal Government:

  • Occupies nearly 500,000 buildings
  • Operates more than 500,000 vehicles
  • Employs more than 1.8 million civilians
  • Purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services

Benefits to the Nation:

  • Energy savings – Avoided Costs – Jobs – Innovations – Improvements to Local Infrastructure

Policy:

  • Establish an integrated agency strategy for sustainability, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the federal government in order to lead by example and achieve a clean energy economy.
    • “really talking about practical application”
    • “requires strategic perspective bringing together the right components”
    • “planning is crucial”

Goals:

  • GHG reduction targets, energy efficiency, water use efficiency and mgmt, pollution prevention, waste elimination
  • Regional and local integrated planning
  • High performance sustainable Federal buildings
  • Sustainable acquisition
  • Electronics stewardship
  • Environmental mgmt systems

Scopes in Greenhouse Gasses, asking for an absolute percentage reduction target for FY 2020, relative to FY 2008. Due:

  • Scope 1-2 – jan 4, 2010
  • Scope 3 – jun 2, 2010

By FY 2015 achieve a %50 or higher solid waste diversion and construction/demolition diversion

This represents “nothing less than a transformational shift in how federal governments operate”

Additional Work

  • DOE to develop greenhouse gas accounting and reporting recommendations by April/Oct
  • DOT to site sustainable locations for federal facilities
  • GSA to develop local transportation logistics
  • DOE to write federal fleet mgmt guidance
  • GSA to pass along vendor and contractor emissions guidnace
  • EPA to write stormwater guidance for federal facilities

Full copy of the briefing: Executive Order 13514 Training

The Perfect Strategy

The more I think about this country the more I realize that we are in the midst of a Perfect Storm. It is as if something new and disastrous happens every day. The current gust of the storm is AIG and it’s bonus payments.

But, has anyone actually looked into the bonuses? Listened to CEO of AIG Edward Liddy’s testimony about them? Heard Geithner’s response?

I read about Thomas Freidman saying we are an Immature Democracy and Ian Bremmer saying that this focus on the bonuses is a Luxury We Can’t Afford. It seems that neither of them have.

It’s as if this is a zero sum game. Do they not understand how people work. Yeah, Geithner and the president have to focus on AIG, but do they really think that is taking away from fixing this country. Do both of them just not fix things until this blows over…seriously that is ridiculous. And, Congress, by all means they should be focusing on this. Someone failed, money is lost, they need to be our nitpickers. If they are playing politics it is because that is the way the Constitution designed our system. Let them have their hearings and tell AIG and Wall Street: we are annoying and we are watching.

The real story behind the bonuses, can be quickly summarized: Liddy sent out a company memo asking for them to be given back, many already have. Geithner said that whatever they don’t get back they will make the company pay back. In the business of money, its simple, and these folks are keeping it simple with the eye on the prize.

Which has led me to wonder why are folks so focused on Wall Street or the individual moves of one bank? Is this not a game of chess like Mark Drapeau says?

It is all bullsh$t. Sorry, for saying that but all of these high minded folks are wrong. There are people actually suffering. Not wall street bankers who lost their 100k salary. But people in Michigan, California, and our children. All of these people are going through tough times.

And no, it’s not becuase of ‘bad mortgages’ or ‘banks’.  Anyone who says that is the cause of this recession is just plain ignorant or wearing horse blinders. This is a perfect storm. We have several massive, country supporting industries going under. They are not going under because banks failed them. No, they failed in their business.

GM, Chrysler, Ford they are just not making cars people will buy. Then there is textiles, electronics, and any other number of manufacturing companies that have been outsourced or out-competed in Mexico, China, Vietnam. Farmers and the farming industry is making money but not for the average person, the average farmer (what used to be the bedrock of our nation) is broke and dying.

Seriously, get out of your McMansions and go visit the rustbelt, midwest, and inner cities…you think they are worried about their 401k’s?

Then take a step back and think a chess-like four moves ahead. Are we really going to be shocked when banks get start leveraging themselves up to pre-recession levels. Are we going to be shocked when they again hand out bad loans. Believe me, it is inevitable.

Then you could say this is a crisis of leadership, regulation, and bad bets, but it is also a crisis of credit. Our economy is moving almost entirely into the credit world. New consumers, long deprived are going to live through credit. They are going to jump at the chance to have the American Dream, a home. They are going to buy everything they want and believe in minimum payments.

Oh, wait, that already happened.

These consumers are still there. The need for them to have credit is still there. The mathematical models will always find ways to give them credit. And they deserve it. Get used to these bad credit lenders, they are not going anywhere.

Ok, now so I’ve touched on the fact that this perfect storm includes financial failure, industrial depression, and a new credit/service economy. Their is much more going wrong in this country and its perfect storm (2 wars!). But, their is hope and frankly it angers me that not one of these pundits sees it.

So, let me call it out. Because, even though I am a huge Obama fan, I can also see that he is playing out the perfect strategy. Take a look:

  1. Come into office in Jan and lay it all on the table. Describe the problems and how long it is going to take.
  2. Wait.
  3. Markets drop to lowest levels, worst news yet comes out, everyone faces the reality (which was not happening under Bush).
  4. Wait
  5. Change the game. First begin building trust. Obama has a trillion to spend and his first move is to announce that he will save your job and your mortgage.
  6. Wait
  7. Fix the financial system: Bernanke/Geithner both at the same time announce several plans designed to get credit going (lowest interest rates ever) buy up toxic assets (take over banks who have them), and then offer government backed loans (TALF).
  8. Obama slips out of town and as Emily from Slate Political Gabfest puts it: shows America that its okay to have fun despite all these problems.
  9. Wait

Anyone who understand the psychology and politics of this country understands what is going on. Obama knows that credit relies on trust. He knows that our entire economy can ride on sentiment. You have to have both trust and hope. What he is doing is perfect to get that back for our country.

Then, simultaneously, he is rebuilding the economy any way he can. Stimulus, green technology, cap and trade, education. He is getting railed for taking on too much when really he is pushing hard for new growth in our economic sectors.

Don’t take my word for it, either. Do some research and you will find that the deeper the rabbit hole the smarter the strategy.

We are in the midst of a Perfect Storm and if you can see through the rain there is a Perfect Strategy being executed in step by patient step.

Obama CIO – Vivek Kundra – LiveBlog

“Couple of things we want to do to embark on a technology revolution in America”

That’s his opening line as he launches into a comparison of previous revolutions. The industrial and agricultural. Each one allowed us to move faster, shrink the world, and increase our efficiencies.

“A lot of people say the federal government can’t lead, I reject that idea”

Another solid speech as Vivek, a notorious short speech giver, builds up. Hands down he’ll be done in 30mins…

Transparency changes the definition of a citizen. We the people, can participate and should, he references the executive transparency memo and recovery.org. To accomplish he defines his core principles:

1. Transparent platform, use this as the foundation for making this happen. He references the human genome project and satelites for GPS

2. Participatory. Opening up each agency to the public for participation.

3. Lowering costs of government operations. Why does it cost goverment more and why can’t government use modern tools?

Answers are cloud computing and opening up consumer technology.

He then moves on to fundamentals like targeted initiatives, not just tech for tech sake. Focusing on outcomes not proccesses. Developing an ecosystem of participation with citizens and buy in across the agencies.

QA: How do we send you good ideas?

Kundra: I plan to have sat or sun round table sessions. Anyone can attend and I’ll soon pass out my email for direct contact.

“Its going to be tough, it’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to happen overnight.”

Don’t deny it, Obama is all Web 2.0

I have been telling friends this for a while: Obama (his campaign) is the most powerful and far-reaching Web 2.0 business in the world.

The fact that he has gone from a virtual nobody to a near land slide presidential victory (typing this at 10:45 EST on election night) is absolutely transformative. He is reported to have raised 150 million dollars in one month. Which includes 632,000 new donors, added to his three million established donors. These are transformative feats, game changers.

An article in NY Times explored this issue by interviewing some of the Obama campaign officials.

“Mark McKinnon, a senior adviser to President Bush’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004…”(this) year campaigns leveraged the Internet in ways never imagined. The year we went to warp speed. The year the paradigm got turned upside down and truly became bottom up instead of top down.”

That’s right, hyper speed and bottom up. Sounds a lot like the Wikipedia cycle and a lot less like the cable/news cycle. Though, to be honest, Obama charted a road in the middle. Able to reach voters where they were are give them what they want. For me it was my cell phone and youtube. For others it was door-to-door, and still others was on tv and through debates.

Most of the time it seemed as if the McCain campaign just ignored this sound advice “reach voters where they were and give them what they want”. As if the Internet and its various capabilities is still a side show. Even after months of Obama turning the tide first against Hillary Clinton and then John McCain, they still refuse to accept.

Accept it or not. It’s here and its happening.