[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 60 (Wednesday, March 28, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 18718-18719]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7436]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 60 / Wednesday, March 28, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 18718]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Part 438

RIN 1904-AB98


Petroleum Reduction and Alternative Fuel Consumption Requirements 
for Federal Fleets

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

ACTION: Request for information.

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SUMMARY: On March 12, 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a 
notice of proposed rulemaking to implement section 142 of the Energy 
Independence and Security Act of 2007, which amended the Energy Policy 
and Conservation Act and directed the Secretary of Energy to issue 
implementing regulations for a statutorily-required reduction in 
petroleum consumption and increase in alternative fuel consumption for 
Federal fleets. With this Request for Information (RFI), DOE requests 
public comment on whether the proposed method for calculating the 
fiscal year 2005 alternative fuel consumption baseline should include 
the alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and low-speed electric 
vehicles.

DATES: Public comment on this RFI will be accepted until April 27, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1904-AB98, by any 
of the following methods:
    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments.
    2. Email: EISA_142_Comments@ee.doe.gov. Include RIN 1904-AB98 in 
the subject line of the email. Please include the full body of your 
comments in the text of the message or as an attachment.
    3. Mail: Address written comments to Cyrus Nasseri, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program (EE-2L), 1000 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.
    Due to potential delays in DOE's receipt and processing of mail 
sent through the U.S. Postal Service, we encourage respondents to 
submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt.
    This RFI and any comments that DOE receives will be made available 
on the Federal Energy Management Program's Sustainable Federal Fleets 
Web site at https://federalfleets.energy.gov/federal_requirements/notices_rules.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cyrus Nasseri, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Federal Energy Management Program (EE-2L), 1000 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, email: Cyrus.Nasseri@ee.doe.gov; or 
Michael Jensen, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel (GC-71), 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, 
email: Michael.Jensen@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 12, 2012, the Department of Energy 
(DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement section 142 
of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, Pub. L. 110-
140), which amended the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 
(Pub. L. 94-163) and directed the Secretary of Energy to issue 
implementing regulations for a statutorily-required reduction in 
petroleum consumption and increase in alternative fuel consumption for 
Federal fleets (77 FR 14,482 (Mar. 12, 2012)). For additional 
background on, and a discussion of the statutory authority for, the 
proposed rule, please refer to the discussion contained in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION of the proposed rule.
    Section 142 of EISA provides that not later than October 1, 2015, 
and for each year thereafter, Federal fleets ``shall achieve at least * 
* * a 10 percent increase in alternative fuel consumption, as 
calculated from the baseline established by the Secretary for fiscal 
year [(FY)] 2005.'' Pursuant to section 438.102(b) of the proposed 
rule, the alternative fuel consumption baseline values would be the 
same as the values reported for Federal fleets through the Federal 
Automotive Statistical Tool Web-based reporting system (FAST) for FY 
2005. Moreover, section 438.102(b) would require Federal fleets with 
extremely low alternative fuel use to be subject to a proposed minimum 
alternative fuel consumption baseline. The minimum baseline would be 
the greater of (1) the amount of alternative fuel consumed by that 
Federal fleet in FY 2005, expressed in gallon of gasoline equivalent 
(GGEs), as reflected in FY 2005 FAST data, or (2) the lesser of (a) 
five percent of total Federal fleet vehicle fuel (petroleum and 
alternative fuel) consumption and (b) 500,000 GGEs.
    DOE notes that the wording of section 438.102(b) potentially could 
cause confusion as to whether the alternative fuel consumed by exempt 
vehicles and low-speed electric vehicles (LSEVs) would be required to 
be included in the calculation of the FY 2005 baseline. At first 
glance, the proposed regulatory text specifies how to calculate the FY 
2005 baseline for each ``Federal fleet.'' As defined under section 
438.2(l), the term ``Federal fleet'' as proposed would not include 
exempt vehicles and certain types of LSEVs; thus, section 438.102(b) 
would appear to exclude from the calculation of the FY 2005 alternative 
fuel consumption baseline the amount of alternative fuel consumed by 
exempt vehicles and LSEVs. This approach potentially would result in a 
less stringent mandate for increased alternative fuel consumption by 
allowing each Federal fleet to account for the alternative fuel 
consumed by two categories of motor vehicles in determining statutory 
compliance that would not be considered in the calculation of the FY 
2005 baseline.\1\
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    \1\ Under the proposed rule, DOE would require Federal fleets to 
include the alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and LSEVs 
in determining compliance with the statutorily-required increase in 
alternative fuel consumption.
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    However, section 438.102(b) also provides detailed instruction on 
how to calculate the FY 2005 baseline with respect to annual 
``alternative fuel consumption.'' As defined under section 438.2(d), 
the term ``alternative fuel consumption'' as proposed expressly 
includes the alternative fuel consumed in exempt vehicles and LSEVs; 
thus, section 438.102(b) could be interpreted to include the amount of 
alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and LSEVs in calculating 
the FY 2005 alternative fuel consumption baseline. DOE further notes 
that the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION of the proposed rule also suggests 
that the FY 2005 alternative fuel consumption baseline calculation 
could include the

[[Page 18719]]

alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and LSEVs. Specifically, 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION provides that ``a correction [of the FY 
2005 alternative fuel consumption baseline] might be requested in the 
event that the Federal fleet's alternative fuel use value for FY 2005 
submitted through FAST did not include the electricity used in the 
Federal fleet's LSEVs.'' Moreover, the alternative fuel consumption 
baseline data set forth in Table III.1 of the proposed rule includes 
the alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and LSEVs.
    DOE notes that an approach that required the inclusion of 
alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and LSEVs in the FY 2005 
alternative fuel baseline would be consistent with the existing method 
for baseline calculation under the alternative fuel consumption 
requirements of Executive Order 13423. Moreover, such an approach could 
require each Federal fleet to consume greater amounts of alternative 
fuel to ensure compliance with the statutorily-required increase in 
alternative fuel consumption as compared to an approach that did not 
account for the alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and LSEVs 
in its baseline calculation.
    With this Request for Information, DOE requests public comment on 
the whether the FY 2005 alternative fuel consumption baseline should 
include the alternative fuel consumed by exempt vehicles and LSEVs. DOE 
also requests comment on other potential approaches to complying with 
the statutorily-required increase in alternative fuel consumption.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2012.
Timothy D. Unruh,
Program Manager, Federal Energy Management Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-7436 Filed 3-27-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P