Lawmakers’ Request Follows Recent Announcement by USPS That Only 10 Percent of The United States Postal Service’s New Fleet of Mail Trucks Will be Battery-Powered
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and 16 of their Senate and House colleagues in sending a letter calling on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Chairman of the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors to change the USPS procurement plan for its mail delivery vehicles and dramatically increase the electrification of the mail delivery fleet.
The Postal Service recently announced that only 10% of its new fleet will be battery powered, despite President Biden’s executive order to fully electrify the federal fleet and despite a USPS-led analysis that determined about 95% of mail carriers’ routes could be electrified.
“After an unjustifiable, truncated, and deficient process, it is unacceptable that the USPS intends to cling to an overwhelmingly fossil-fuel powered fleet whose emissions are endangering our planet,” wrote the lawmakers. “USPS’s plans for its future delivery-vehicle fleet have subverted both our NEPA regulations and our national and international climate and public health commitments. Electrifying the transportation sector is among our greatest opportunities to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change, improve public health, and create good-paying American jobs.”
The senators’ request follows similar demands made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which asked USPS to address significant flaws and process violations in its National Environmental Policy Act analysis of the procurement plan. The lawmakers urge USPS specifically to conduct a supplemental environmental impact review and host a public hearing. They also call on the USPS to increase procurement of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which would not only be cheaper to own and operate than internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), but improve public health and reduce environmental damages that are a result of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. USPS vehicles make up a third of the federal government’s vehicle fleet.
In March 2021, Brown along with U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9) wrote to President Biden urging him to halt a federal postal truck contract until a review can be conducted on whether inappropriate political influence was involved in the decision and whether the contract award is consistent with Biden’s calls for an electrification of federal vehicles.
Read the full text of the letter by clicking here.
The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Thomas Carper (D-DE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA) and U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Jared Huffman (D-CA).
This letter is supported by Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), EVHybridNoire, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, Climate Reality, Mobilify Southwestern Pennsylvania, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Center for Biological Diversity, League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), CALSTART, and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).