The United States Postal Service (USPS) is moving ahead with plans to replace 90% of the current fleet with gas-powered vehicles. This is in complete opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Whitehouse.
The USPS is currently one of the largest vehicle fleets in the US and upgrading it to use electric vehicles would be a tremendous win for the environment. However, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has other plans.
His rationale behind the move is that the USPS lacks the funding necessary to follow through with more ambitious plans. The Postmaster and the USPS may face consequences if they fail to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.
An excellent opportunity to reduce emissions is being squandered by the Postmaster.
Why Is the USPS Replacing Its Fleet?
Currently, the average USPS vehicle is 25 years old. Many are even older, and this aging fleet is beginning to break down. Thus, the USPS is looking to upgrade the current fleet within the next 10 years.
However, as you can see by the existing average, this is a decision that will impact the US for the next thirty years.
And not replacing vehicles that are used 6-days a week with electric ones is a huge problem when looking at emissions data. According to the EIS report, a full BEV (electric) fleet would reduce direct and indirect emissions by 200%.
This would be a massive step in lowering the United States’ carbon footprint. And it’s at a time where it makes the most sense. As gas prices continue to rise, switching to electric cars would save money in the long term despite a higher initial cost.
If the Problem Is Money, Why Not Increase The Budget?
Most experts and departments involved with overseeing plans have come to similar conclusions. The USPS review of this upgrade is based on incorrect data.
For reference, the current move will cost $11.3 billion dollars, so the budget is already quite large. That said, we need a lot of mail trucks. So while it may sound like a lot, it’s not that huge.
Unfortunately, anyone familiar with our current economy and spending power should be aware that more government spending could lead to worse inflation. And it could be a challenge to pass any legislation doing so.
Can’t Biden Fire the Postmaster?
Many seem to have found that the Postmaster has a strong bias in favor of gas-powered vehicles.
The report even cites odd arguments like the 77-mile range would be insufficient. Yet, the average mail route is 22 miles. The charge is sufficient for three times the current route. At its best, it is incompetence. At its worse, it’s a deliberate falsification of the report.
It is also worth noting that Postmaster Louis DeJoy was appointed by the previous administration that was not a fan of environmental regulation.
And if you’re wondering if President Biden will fire the Postmaster, he cannot. The constitution forbids the President from firing the Postmaster. Attempting to do so would cause a political nightmare for the nation.
Instead, the best course of action is to challenge the report in court to block the purchase from being made. And raising the budget to ensure that this transition takes place is another option.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.