Will Bush get his energy act together?

Environmentalists are suing 14 federal agencies in the hopes that he will.

Published April 14, 2005 5:28PM (EDT)

If the Bush administration would actually comply with the energy conservation laws passed after the first Gulf War, the U.S. would become less dependent on foreign oil and could easily avoid drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

That's the argument behind a lawsuit filed in federal court today by two environmental groups against 14 federal agencies, including the C.I.A. and the Department of Homeland Security. The suit, brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Bluewater Network, charges that by failing to purchase vehicles that run on alternative energy, the feds are in violation of the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The act requires that 75 percent of cars and trucks purchased by federal agencies for use in metro areas be alternative fuel vehicles, running on electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, biodiesel or natural gas.

"If the Bush Administration would comply with the Energy Policy Act, we could save 1.4 billion barrels of oil every year -- that's four times more oil than drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would provide annually," said Peter Galvin, conservation director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Just imagine: The most petro-friendly administration in recent memory changing out its motorcades of hulking black Suburbans for vehicles powered by French fry oil. We can't wait to see that.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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