42 U.S. Code § 6374 - Alternative fuel use by light duty Federal vehicles

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(a) Department of Energy program
(1) Beginning in the fiscal year ending September 30, 1990, the Secretary shall ensure, with the cooperation of other appropriate agencies and consistent with other Federal law, that the maximum number practicable of the vehicles acquired annually for use by the Federal Government shall be alternative fueled vehicles. In no event shall the number of such vehicles acquired be less than the number required under section 13212 of this title.
(2) In any determination of whether the acquisition of a vehicle is practicable under paragraph (1), the initial cost of such vehicle to the United States shall not be considered as a factor unless the initial cost of such vehicle exceeds the initial cost of a comparable gasoline or diesel fueled vehicle by at least 5 percent.
(3)
(A) To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall acquire both dedicated and dual fueled vehicles, and shall ensure that each type of alternative fueled vehicle is used by the Federal Government.
(B) Vehicles acquired under this section shall be acquired from original equipment manufacturers. If such vehicles are not available from original equipment manufacturers, vehicles converted to use alternative fuels may be acquired if, after conversion, the original equipment manufacturer’s warranty continues to apply to such vehicles, pursuant to an agreement between the original equipment manufacturer and the person performing the conversion. This subparagraph shall not apply to vehicles acquired by the United States Postal Service pursuant to a contract entered into by the United States Postal Service before October 24, 1992, and which terminates on or before December 31, 1997.
(C) Alternative fueled vehicles, other than those described in subparagraph (B), may be acquired solely for the purposes of studies under subsection (b) of this section, whether or not original equipment manufacturer warranties still apply.
(D) In deciding which types of alternative fueled vehicles to acquire in implementing this part, the Secretary shall consider as a factor—
(i) which types of vehicles yield the greatest reduction in pollutants emitted per dollar spent; and
(ii) the source of the fuel to supply the vehicles, giving preference to vehicles that operate on alternative fuels derived from domestic sources.
(E)
(i) Dual fueled vehicles acquired pursuant to this section shall be operated on alternative fuels unless the Secretary determines that an agency qualifies for a waiver of such requirement for vehicles operated by the agency in a particular geographic area in which—
(I) the alternative fuel otherwise required to be used in the vehicle is not reasonably available to retail purchasers of the fuel, as certified to the Secretary by the head of the agency; or
(II) the cost of the alternative fuel otherwise required to be used in the vehicle is unreasonably more expensive compared to gasoline, as certified to the Secretary by the head of the agency.
(ii) The Secretary shall monitor compliance with this subparagraph by all such fleets and shall report annually to Congress on the extent to which the requirements of this subparagraph are being achieved. The report shall include information on annual reductions achieved from the use of petroleum-based fuels and the problems, if any, encountered in acquiring alternative fuels.
(F) At least 50 percent of the alternative fuels used in vehicles acquired pursuant to this section shall be derived from domestic feedstocks, except to the extent inconsistent with the multilateral trade agreements (as defined in section 3501 (4) of title 19). The Secretary shall issue regulations to implement this requirement. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “domestic” has the meaning given such term in section 13211 (7) of this title.
(G) Except to the extent inconsistent with the multilateral trade agreements (as defined in section 3501 (4) of title 19), vehicles acquired under this section shall be motor vehicles manufactured in the United States or Canada.
(4) Acquisitions of vehicles under this section shall, to the extent practicable, be coordinated with acquisitions of alternative fueled vehicles by State and local governments.
(b) Studies
(1)
(A) The Secretary, in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shall conduct a study of a representative sample of alternative fueled vehicles in Federal fleets, which shall at a minimum address—
(i) the performance of such vehicles, including performance in cold weather and at high altitude;
(ii) the fuel economy, safety, and emissions of such vehicles; and
(iii) a comparison of the operation and maintenance costs of such vehicles to the operation and maintenance costs of other passenger automobiles and light duty trucks.
(B) The Secretary shall provide a report on the results of the study conducted under subparagraph (A) to the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, within one year after the first such vehicles are acquired.
(2)
(A) The Secretary and the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall conduct a study of the advisability, feasibility, and timing of the disposal of vehicles acquired under subsection (a) of this section and any problems of such disposal. Such study shall take into account existing laws governing the sale of Government vehicles and shall specifically focus on when to sell such vehicles and what price to charge, without compromising studies of the use of such vehicles authorized under this part.
(B) The Secretary and the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall report the results of the study conducted under subparagraph (A) to the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, within 12 months after funds are appropriated for carrying out this section.
(3) Studies undertaken under this subsection shall be coordinated with relevant testing activities of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation.
(c) Availability to public
To the extent practicable, at locations where vehicles acquired under subsection (a) of this section are supplied with alternative fuels, such fuels shall be offered for sale to the public. The head of the Federal agency responsible for such a location shall consider whether such sale is practicable, taking into account, among other factors—
(1) whether alternative fuel is commercially available for vehicles in the vicinity of such location;
(2) security and safety considerations;
(3) whether such sale is in accordance with applicable local, State, and Federal law;
(4) the ease with which the public can access such location; and
(5) the cost to the United States of such sale.
(d) Federal agency use of demonstration vehicles
(1) Upon the request of the head of any agency of the Federal Government, the Secretary shall ensure that such Federal agency be provided with vehicles acquired under subsection (a) of this section to the maximum extent practicable.
(2)
(A) Funds appropriated under this section for the acquisition of vehicles under subsection (a) of this section shall be applicable only to the portion of the cost of vehicles acquired under subsection (a) of this section which exceeds the cost of comparable gasoline or diesel fueled vehicles.
(B) To the extent that appropriations are available for such purposes, the Secretary shall ensure that the cost to any Federal agency receiving a vehicle under paragraph (1) shall not exceed the cost to such agency of a comparable gasoline or diesel fueled vehicle.
(3) Only one-half of the vehicles acquired under this section by an agency of the Federal Government shall be counted against any limitation under law, Executive order, or executive or agency policy on the number of vehicles which may be acquired by such agency.
(4) Any Federal agency receiving a vehicle under paragraph (1) shall cooperate with studies undertaken by the Secretary under subsection (b) of this section.
(e) Detail of personnel
Upon the request of the Secretary, the head of any Federal agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of such agency to the Department of Energy to assist the Secretary in carrying out the Secretary’s duties under this section.
(f) Exemptions
(1) Vehicles acquired under this section shall not be counted in any calculation of the average fuel economy of the fleet of passenger automobiles acquired in a fiscal year by the United States.
(2) The incremental cost of vehicles acquired under this section over the cost of comparable gasoline or diesel fueled vehicles shall not be applied to any calculation with respect to a limitation under law on the maximum cost of individual vehicles which may be acquired by the United States.
(g) Definitions
For purposes of this part—
(1) the term “acquired” means leased for a period of sixty continuous days or more, or purchased;
(2) the term “alternative fuel” means methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols; mixtures containing 85 percent or more (or such other percentage, but not less than 70 percent, as determined by the Secretary, by rule, to provide for requirements relating to cold start, safety, or vehicle functions) by volume of methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols with gasoline or other fuels; natural gas; liquefied petroleum gas; hydrogen; coal-derived liquid fuels; fuels (other than alcohol) derived from biological materials; electricity (including electricity from solar energy); and any other fuel the Secretary determines, by rule, is substantially not petroleum and would yield substantial energy security benefits and substantial environmental benefits;
(3) the term “alternative fueled vehicle” means a dedicated vehicle or a dual fueled vehicle;
(4) the term “dedicated vehicle” means—
(A) a dedicated automobile, as such term is defined in section 32901 (a)(7)  [1] of title 49; or
(B) a motor vehicle, other than an automobile, that operates solely on alternative fuel;
(5) the term “dual fueled vehicle” means—
(A) dual fueled automobile, as such term is defined in section 32901 (a)(8)  [1] of title 49; or
(B) a motor vehicle, other than an automobile, that is capable of operating on alternative fuel and is capable of operating on gasoline or diesel fuel; and
(6) the term “heavy duty vehicle” means a vehicle of greater than 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight rating.
(h) Funding
(1) For the purposes of this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1993 through 1998, to remain available until expended.
(2) The authority of the Secretary to obligate amounts to be expended under this section shall be effective for any fiscal year only to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in advance by appropriation Acts.


[1]  See References in Text note below.

Source

(Pub. L. 94–163, title III, § 400AA, as added Pub. L. 100–494, § 4(a),Oct. 14, 1988, 102 Stat. 2442; amended Pub. L. 102–486, title III, §§ 302(a), 309,Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2868, 2874; Pub. L. 104–66, title I, §§ 1051(a), 1052(e),Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 716, 718; Pub. L. 105–388, § 5(a)(14),Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3479; Pub. L. 106–36, title I, § 1002(h),June 25, 1999, 113 Stat. 134; Pub. L. 109–58, title VII, § 701,Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 814.)
References in Text

Paragraphs (7) and (8) of section 32901 (a) of title 49, referred to in subsec. (g)(4)(A), (5)(A), were redesignated (8) and (9), respectively, and a new par. (7) was enacted by Pub. L. 110–140, title I, § 103(a)(2), (3),Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1501.
Codification

In subsec. (g)(4)(A), (5)(A), “section 32901 (a)(7) of title 49” substituted for “section 513(h)(1)(C) of the Motor Vehicle Information Cost Savings Act” and “section 32901 (a)(8) of title 49” substituted for “section 513(h)(1)(D) of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act”, respectively, on authority of Pub. L. 103–272, § 6(b),July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1378, the first section of which enacted subtitles II, III, and V to X of Title 49, Transportation.
Amendments

2005—Subsec. (a)(3)(E). Pub. L. 109–58amended subpar. (E) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (E) read as follows: “Dual fueled vehicles acquired pursuant to this section shall be operated on alternative fuels unless the Secretary determines that operation on such alternative fuels is not feasible.”
1999—Subsec. (a)(3)(F), (G). Pub. L. 106–36substituted “multilateral trade agreements (as defined in section 3501 (4) of title 19)” for “General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade”.
1998—Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 105–388redesignated subsec. (i) as (h).
1995—Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 104–66, § 1052(e), struck out before period at end “, and annually thereafter”.
Subsec. (b)(3) to (5). Pub. L. 104–66, § 1051(a), redesignated par. (5) as (3) and struck out former par. (3) which directed Secretary to conduct study of heavy duty vehicles acquired under Department of Energy program and report results to Congress and par. (4) which directed Secretary to conduct study of advisability of heavy duty vehicle disposal and report results to Congress.
1992—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(1), substituted “vehicles” for “passenger automobiles and light duty trucks” before “acquired annually for use” and “alternative fueled vehicles. In no event shall the number of such vehicles acquired be less than the number required under section 13212 of this title.” for “alcohol powered vehicles, dual energy vehicles, natural gas powered vehicles, or natural gas dual energy vehicles.”
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(2), amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (3) read as follows: “The Secretary shall, to the extent practicable and consistent with this part, ensure that the number of dual energy vehicles acquired under this subsection is at least as great as the number of alcohol powered vehicles acquired under this subsection, and that the number of natural gas dual energy vehicles acquired under this subsection is at least as great as the number of natural gas powered vehicles acquired under this subsection. To the extent practicable, both vehicles capable of operating on alcohol and vehicles capable of operating on natural gas shall be acquired in carrying out this subsection, and such vehicles shall be supplied by original equipment manufacturers.”
Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(3), added par. (4).
Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 102–486, § 309, substituted “a representative sample of alternative fueled vehicles in Federal fleets” for “the vehicles acquired under subsection (a) of this section”.
Subsec. (b)(3) to (5). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(4), added pars. (3) to (5).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(5), in introductory provisions substituted “alternative fuels, such fuels” for “alcohol or natural gas, alcohol or natural gas” and in par. (1) substituted “alternative fuel” for “alcohol or natural gas”.
Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(6), substituted “To the extent that appropriations are available for such purposes, the Secretary” for “The Secretary”.
Subsec. (g)(2) to (6). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(7), added pars. (2) to (6) and struck out former pars. (2) to (6) which read as follows:
“(2) the term ‘alcohol’ means a mixture containing 85 percent or more by volume methanol, ethanol, or other alcohols, in any combination;
“(3) the term ‘alcohol powered vehicle’ means a vehicle designed to operate exclusively on alcohol;
“(4) the term ‘dual energy vehicle’ means a vehicle which is capable of operating on alcohol and on gasoline or diesel fuel;
“(5) the term ‘natural gas dual energy vehicle’ means a vehicle which is capable of operating on natural gas and on gasoline or diesel fuel; and
“(6) the term ‘natural gas powered vehicle’ means a vehicle designed to operate exclusively on natural gas.”
Subsec. (i)(1). Pub. L. 102–486, § 302(a)(8), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “For the purposes of this section, there are authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1990, $5,000,000, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1991, $3,000,000, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1992, $2,000,000, and for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1993, $2,000,000.”
Change of Name

Committee on Governmental Affairs of Senate changed to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of Senate, effective Jan. 4, 2005, by Senate Resolution No. 445, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Oct. 9, 2004.
Committee on Energy and Commerce of House of Representatives treated as referring to Committee on Commerce of House of Representatives by section 1(a) ofPub. L. 104–14, set out as a note preceding section 21 of Title 2, The Congress. Committee on Commerce of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Energy and Commerce of House of Representatives, and jurisdiction over matters relating to securities and exchanges and insurance generally transferred to Committee on Financial Services of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Jan. 3, 2001.
Termination Date

Pub. L. 100–494, § 4(b),Oct. 14, 1988, 102 Stat. 2448, which provided that this section and the amendments made by this section (enacting this part) were to cease to be effective after Sept. 30, 1997, was repealed by Pub. L. 102–486, title III, § 302(b),Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2871.
Findings

Pub. L. 100–494, § 2,Oct. 14, 1988, 102 Stat. 2441, provided that: “The Congress finds and declares that—
“(1) the achievement of long-term energy security for the United States is essential to the health of the national economy, the well-being of our citizens, and the maintenance of national security;
“(2) the displacement of energy derived from imported oil with alternative fuels will help to achieve energy security and improve air quality;
“(3) transportation uses account for more than 60 percent of the oil consumption of the Nation;
“(4) the Nation’s security, economic, and environmental interests require that the Federal Government should assist clean-burning, nonpetroleum transportation fuels to reach a threshold level of commercial application and consumer acceptability at which they can successfully compete with petroleum-based fuels;
“(5) methanol, ethanol, and natural gas are proven transportation fuels that burn more cleanly and efficiently than gasoline and diesel fuel;
“(6) the production and use as transportation fuels of ethanol, methanol made from natural gas or biomass, and compressed natural gas have been estimated in some studies to release less carbon dioxide than comparable quantities of petroleum-based fuel;
“(7) the amount of carbon dioxide released with methanol from a coal-to-methanol industry using currently available technologies has been estimated in some studies to be significantly greater than the amount released with a comparable quantity of petroleum-based fuel;
“(8) there exists evidence that manmade pollution—the release of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and other trace gases into the atmosphere—may be producing a long term and substantial increase in the average temperature on Earth, a phenomenon known as global warming through the greenhouse effect; and
“(9) ongoing pollution and deforestation may be contributing now to an irreversible process producing unacceptable global climate changes; necessary actions must be identified and implemented in time to protect the climate, including the development of technologies to control increased carbon dioxide emissions that result with methanol from a coal-to-methanol industry.”
Purpose

Pub. L. 100–494, § 3,Oct. 14, 1988, 102 Stat. 2442, provided that: “The purpose of this Act [see Short Title of 1988 Amendment note set out under section 6201 of this title] is to encourage—
“(1) the development and widespread use of methanol, ethanol, and natural gas as transportation fuels by consumers; and
“(2) the production of methanol, ethanol, and natural gas powered motor vehicles.”
Use of Nonstandard Fuels

Pub. L. 100–494, § 5,Oct. 14, 1988, 102 Stat. 2448, provided that: “No guaranty or warranty with respect to any passenger automobile or light-duty truck acquired by the United States after October 1, 1989, shall be voided or reduced in effect by reason of the operation of such vehicle with any fuel for which a currently effective waiver, which includes a limitation regarding Reid vapor pressure with respect to such fuel, has been issued by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under section 211(f) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7545 (f)).”

 

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