Saying the government should lead by example, President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020.
Obama says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs.
Obama was set to announce the plan Thursday as part of his wide-ranging, second-term drive to combat climate change and prepare for its effects. A plan announced in June would put first-time limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, boost renewable energy production on federal lands and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures.
The Associated Press obtained an advance copy of the executive order on renewable energy, which applies to all federal agencies, civilian and military. The Defense Department has previously set a goal that 25 percent of its energy needs should be supplied by renewable energy by 2025.
(Read more: Senator: Bill preserves Ohio renewable targets)