The U.S. Postal Service plans to spend up to $11.3 billion on a fleet of as many as 165,000 new delivery trucks over the next decade — but The Washington Post’s Anna Phillips and Jacob Bogage reported Wednesday that those plans face renewed resistance from the Biden administration, which is urging the Postal Service to reconsider its intention to buy mostly gas-powered trucks.
President Biden has set a goal of converting all federal cars and trucks to clean energy, the Post reports, and Postal Service vehicles account for a third of the government’s fleet. “The Postal Service’s proposal as currently crafted represents a crucial lost opportunity to more rapidly reduce the carbon footprint of one of the largest government fleets in the world,” Vicki Arroyo, the EPA’s associate administrator for policy, wrote in a letter to a USPS official.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee, says the Postal Service can’t afford to buy more electric vehicles. “While we can understand why some who are not responsible for the financial sustainability of the Postal Service might prefer that the Postal Service acquire more electric vehicles, the law requires the Postal Service to be self-sufficient,” agency spokeswoman Kimberly Frum said in a statement to the Post.
But DeJoy’s plan for a much-needed upgrading of mail truck fleet has drawn criticism from the Biden administration, environmentalists and others, with the EPA warning that the Postal Service’s environmental analysis and cost calculations were biased and seriously flawed. “There were just pages and pages of detailed economic and environmental analysis by EPA that the Postal Service either ignored or dismissed with a rhetorical wave of its hand,” John Walke, head of the clean-air project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, told the Post.