If the CIA cares about the environment, it apparently doesn’t want you to know about it

Court holds that CIA violated provision of Energy Policy Act, ordering publication of information regarding acquisition of alternative fuel vehicles.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992, 42 U.S.C. §13211 et seq., requires federal agencies to purchase a minimum number of alternative fuel vehicles (“AFVs”) when adding to their fleets of automobiles. To ensure compliance with this environmentally-friendly requirement, 42 U.S.C. §13218 calls for federal agencies to prepare annual reports to Congress summarizing their compliance with the AFV purchasing requirements. These annual reports must be posted “on a publicly available website on the Internet.” 42 U.S.C. 13218(b)(3).

For the past six years, the CIA has apparently been too busy with the war on terror and other pressing matters to concern itself with the reporting requirements of the Energy Policy Act. Certain environmental groups noticed this, and filed suit in federal court in California, claiming that the agency (and 12 other agencies as well) had failed to properly make the AFV compliance information available online.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that there was no genuine issue of material fact regarding the failure of the various agencies to meet the reporting requirements. Although the court denied the motion as to the other 12 agencies (their reporting was at least somewhat sufficient), the court found that the CIA “essentially conceded that it failed to prepare or publish any compliance reports required under the [Energy Policy] Act.”

Accordingly, the court held that the CIA had not met its reporting obligations under the Act, and ordered it to publish on the Internet no later than January 31, 2006 information regarding its acquisition of AFVs during the past six years.

Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Dept. of Energy et al., 2005 WL 1656881 (N.D. Cal., July 14, 2005).