Before May 1, 1999, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule for the rule required under subsection (g), and shall provide for a public comment period, with hearings, of not less than 90 days.
Nothing in this subchapter or the amendments made by this subchapter shall require a fleet owner to acquire conversion vehicles.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall take into consideration energy security, costs, safety, lead time requirements, vehicle miles traveled annually, effect on greenhouse gases, technological feasibility, energy requirements, economic impacts, including impacts on workers and the impact on consumers (including users of the alternative fuel for purposes such as for residences, agriculture, process use, and non-fuel purposes) and fleets, the availability of alternative fuels and alternative fueled vehicles, and other relevant factors.
In carrying out this section and section 13256 of this title, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator, and other appropriate Federal agencies. The Secretary shall provide for the participation of the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator in the development and issuance of the rule under this section, including the public process concerning such rule.
As part of the rule promulgated either pursuant to subsection (b) or (g) of this section, the Secretary shall establish procedures for any fleet owner or operator or motor vehicle manufacturer to request that the Secretary modify or suspend a fleet requirement program established under either subsection nationally, by region, or in an applicable fleet area because, as demonstrated by the petitioner, the infrastructure or fuel supply or distribution system for an applicable alternative fuel is inadequate to meet the needs of a fleet. In the event that the Secretary determines that a modification or suspension of the fleet requirement program on a regional basis would detract from the nationwide character of any fleet requirement program established by rule or would sufficiently diminish the economies of scale for the production of alternative fueled vehicles or alternative fuels and thereafter the practicability and effectiveness of such program, the Secretary may only modify or suspend the program nationally. The procedures shall include provisions for notice and public hearings. The Secretary shall deny or grant the petition within 180 days after filing.