USPS moves ahead with plan to spend billions on gas vehicles

A U.S. Postal Service employee prepares deals for delivery in the course of Cyber Monday in the SoHo neighborhood of New York, on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday finished a last regulatory need for its prepare to change its shipping and delivery fleet with countless numbers of gas-run autos, forging forward with a determination that is drawn potent opposition from the Biden administration and environmental groups.

The Postal Provider operates about 230,000 autos, earning up one-third of the country’s total federal fleet. Previously this month, the EPA and the White Household Council on Environmental Excellent urged the Postal Support to perform an up-to-date and far more in depth complex evaluation and maintain a general public hearing on its program.

The group has now completed the evaluation, putting it on keep track of to provide the to start with of the new motor vehicles subsequent year, which will contain at least 5,000 electric powered-run automobiles.

Postmaster Basic Louis DeJoy, a Trump ally who was nominated to the situation in 2020, pledged past calendar year to transform 10% of its new vans to electric power.

“Our motivation to an electric fleet stays bold supplied the pressing auto and security desires of our aging fleet as effectively as our fragile fiscal affliction,” DeJoy mentioned in a statement on Wednesday.

DeJoy additional that the Postal Service can acquire far more electric powered automobiles beneath the program if further funding “from possibly inside or congressional sources will become readily available.”

The Postal Service’s system would blunt the Biden administration’s pledge to swap its federal fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks to electric powered power and reduce the government’s carbon emissions by 65% by mid-century.

Even with a latest increase in electric vehicles sales in the U.S., the transportation sector is one particular of the biggest contributors to the country’s local climate-altering emissions, comprising around a person-third of complete emissions every yr.

By reversing study course on its approach and electrifying the new mail trucks, the Postal Services could stop the govt from burning 110 million gallons of gas each and every calendar year, according to the environmental nonprofit Earthjustice.

“DeJoy’s plans for the postal fleet will drag us back again a long time with a truck product that will get laughable gas overall economy. We may possibly as well provide the mail with hummers,” Adrian Martinez, senior attorney on Earthjustice’s Proper to Zero marketing campaign, claimed in a statement.

“DeJoy’s environmental critique is rickety, started on suspect calculations, and fails to meet the standards of the law,” Martinez reported. “We are not done battling this reckless conclusion.” 

“Neither rain, nor sleet, nor monetary excellent sense will cease the leaders of the U.S. Postal Provider from attempting to obtain dirty, polluting shipping vans,” Patricio Portillo, transportation analyst at the Natural Methods Protection Council, mentioned in a assertion.

“For the sake of clean up air and value discounts, it is really time to return this program to sender,” Portillo reported.