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Johnson Addresses Bureau of Land Management Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
Martha Johnson
U.S. General Services Administration
Bureau of Land Management Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Washington, DC
June 14, 2011

Thank you, Bob Abbey [director of the Bureau of Land Management] for that generous introduction.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton; Scott Meade of Lerner Enterprises; guests; and friends: I’m honored to be here today as we celebrate the ribbon-cutting of this new office space for the Bureau of Land Management.

GSA’s mission is to support other agencies in THEIR missions and by so doing, foster an effective and sustainable government for the American people.

• We support the Department of Veterans Affairs so that it can support our veterans.

• We deliver the needed infrastructure so that the Department of Commerce can support American businesses at home and promote them abroad.

• And yes, we help procure the office space and tools – including nearly 1,500 cars and trucks – for the Department of the Interior so that you can protect our natural resources, honor our native cultures and tribal communities, and supply the energy that will power our future.

We worry about the buildings so that BLM can focus on the land. We do the indoors; you do the outdoors. One thing we both do, however, is carry the mantle of sustainability.

At GSA, we’re aligned around a long-term, aspirational goal of achieving a zero environmental footprint for our buildings, procurements, and operations. This goal is about strategic, intentional, and above all smart resource management – and that means all of our resources: our natural environment, our built structures, and the taxpayer dollar.

To support that target, we’re committed to creating a built environment that uses the latest in smart, sustainable technologies.

On buildings around the country, we’re testing geothermal heat pumps, smart windows, digital building monitoring systems, and much more, including vast arrays of solar fields.

And BLM is no stranger to supporting, testing, and evaluating these technologies, too. Last fall, for example, you approved the largest solar energy field on publicly held territory – and you made sure that the local wildlife would not be adversely affected by the project.

You also manage hundreds of geothermal leases on public land – pumps that are responsible for 50 percent of the nation’s geothermal energy capacity and supply electricity to 1.2 million homes. It’s clear that BLM is a frontline player in the ongoing effort to bring smart, renewable resources to the forefront of our nation’s energy portfolio.

Today, we recognize the completion of a project that represents both agencies’ shared commitment to sustainability: the delivery of Class A, LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] gold office space that is energy-conscious and sustainability-minded to the Bureau of Land Management.

In so many respects – from the specialized roofing to the plumbing fixtures, from the digitally controlled heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to the energy-efficient windows – this building stands as a testament to the green-energy, clean-tech future that will help our government serve the American people ever smarter and ever better.

I’m delighted to join you today for this celebration, and I look forward to future collaboration between DOI and GSA.

Thank you.

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