The U.S. Department of Energy issued proposed regulations that instruct federal agencies about their obligation to reduce petroleum consumption and increase alternative fuel use in motor vehicles.
The proposal covers light, medium and heavy- duty fuel con- sumption in on-road vehicles. It includes exceptions for certain emergency, military and other types of special use vehicles.
The new rules implement provisions required in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. Section 142 of EISA (P.L. No. 110-40) requires federal agencies, not later than October 1, 2015, to reduce petroleum consumption by 20% and to increase alternative fuel use by 10% compared to 2005 baseline fuel consumption. DoE’s notice indicates that the rules establish firm requirements that remain in place in future years, meaning that petroleum consumption must be no more than 80% of the level consumed in 2005 and alternative fuel use must not fall below 110% of the level consumed in 2005.
In reality, most agencies will likely have to increase their alternative fuel use much more unless they can identify a way to significantly reduce their overall motor vehicle fuel use (since petroleum use cannot grow). Another factor that could increase federal alt fuel use, NGVAmerica notes, is President Obama’s May 2011 Presidential Memorandum, which directs that all future light duty vehicles leased or purchased by federal agencies must be alternative fueled vehicles.
Comments on the proposed regulation, fuel use targets and the guidelines for agency plans are due April 11.
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