SAN FRANCISCO - Environmental groups have sued 18 U.S. government agencies, accusing them of ignoring a 1992 law requiring them to buy a minimum number of alternative-fuel vehicles.
Lawyers said the suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, seeks to require the agencies to purchase 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 Center for Biological Diversity.
The suit cites federally mandated targets that, as of last year, required that 75 percent of new government vehicles purchased for large urban areas be capable of running on alternative fuels.
Department of Energy officials declined to comment on the suit.