President Obama's Motorcade Tonight Will Make History

NRDC Obtains Carbon Offsets to Highlight Need for Clean Energy Agenda

WASHINGTON (Jan. 25, 2011) -- Tonight will be rich in symbolism, as Democrats and Republicans mingle among the seats in the House chamber during President Obama’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

In another symbolic gesture, NRDC has ensured that not one gram of carbon dioxide pollution will remain in the atmosphere as a result of the president’s motorcades tonight between the White House and the Capitol.

That’s because NRDC has purchased “offsets” to make the round-trip carbon neutral -- a first for a State of the Union presidential motorcade.

“Offsetting the president’s motorcades is meant to put on tonight’s agenda an awareness of the need to move America more vigorously toward a clean-energy economy, and that personal actions matter,”  said Peter Lehner, executive director of NRDC.

“The president will tell us that nothing is more urgent than reviving our economy. We can put millions of Americans back to work by investing in renewable fuels and greater energy efficiency.  A clean-energy agenda will boost our economy and strengthen safeguards that protect our health, our waters, our lands and the air we breathe.”

To ensure a carbon-neutral motorcade, NRDC has purchased renewable energy carbon offsets through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.  The Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit foundationspecializes in carbon “offsets,” which are credits that anyone can buy to compensate for or lessen their carbon dioxide pollution imprint. The credits fund projects that create a reduction of, or capture, carbon dioxide pollution somewhere else.

“This is no substitute for reducing the emission of carbon dioxide pollution,” Lehner said. “But offsets can raise awareness and show that we all should act to do what is possible.”