Did you know this?

Thirteen years ago … Congress passed a law mandating that, by 1999, 75 percent of the federal fleet of light-duty vehicles (excepting emergency and tactical vehicles) be capable of running on alternative fuels rather than on gasoline. State governments were given until 2001 to meet the same mandate.

It’s true.The law in question is Public Law 102-486, otherwise known as the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The bill begins with a bang:

SEC. 101. BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Title III of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6831 et seq.) is amended-

(1) in section 303-

(A) by striking paragraph (9);

(B) by redesignating paragraphs (10), (11), (12), and (13) as paragraphs (9), (10), (11), and (12), respectively; and …

Ha ha. It’s always funny to read laws as they’re actually written. No wonder congressfolk never read them before they vote on them!

Anyway, there’s this law that I didn’t know about. Turns out it has its own website.

It also turns out that 2001 passed a while ago, and the federal and state fleets of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) are nowhere near the targets specified in the law. So the Center for Biological Diversity and the Bluewater Network — represented by students at the University of Denver’s very cool Environmental Law Clinic Partnership (a semester-long, hands-on course where students work on suits filed by the CBD) — are suing the feds.

Principal among the defendants is the DOE, the very agency charged with enforcing the EPA. Other agencies being sued include the U. S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; as well as the Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Office of the President, Federal Communications Commission, and General Services Administration.

That should do it!

The feds claim it was just a goal, not a mandate. The plaintiffs aren’t buying it. Read the story in Westword. Should be interesting to follow.