Government Sued Over
Four environmental groups have sued U.S. government agencies, accusing them of ignoring a 1992 law aimed at cutting the nation’s reliance on petroleum and ushering in a new era of alternative-fuel vehicles, according to Reuters.
Lawyers said on Jan. 3, 2002 the suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, sought to force agencies ranging from the Commerce Department to the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with the 1992 Energy Policy Act and pur-chase thousands of cars, trucks, and vans that run on ethanol, electric power, or other alternative fuels.
“With the exception of Department of Energy, none of these agencies has bought the percentage of alternative-fuel vehicles that they were required to by law,” said Jay Tutchon, an attorney with Earthjustice, which filed the suit on behalf of the Sierra Club, the Bluewater Network, and the Centre for Biological Diversity. The suit charges that a total of 18 federal agencies have ignored provisions in the 1992 law, which then-president George Bush signed as part of an effort to draw the country away from over-reliance of petroleum following the Gulf War.
Specifically, the suit charges that the agencies have failed to meet legal targets for alternative-fuel vehicles in their fleets, targets which, as of last year, required that 75 percent of new government vehicles purchased for large urban areas be capable of running on alternative fuels.