The U.S. Postal Service is suing 16 states, two major climate organizations and the United Auto Workers Union for trying to block the purchase of more than 140,000 new mail delivery trucks. The groups initially mentioned the USPS’s willingness to pay Wisconsin contractor Oshkosh to start production without a thorough climate-based analysis of their potential environmental impact and decision, The Washington Post Report
Attorneys General of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have filed lawsuits against EarthJustice and Natural Resources. District of Columbia, New York City and Bay Area Air Quality Management District, The Post Oshkosh’s announcement that it would build new mail trucks in South Carolina instead of a union state prompted the United Auto Workers Union to join the lawsuit.
“The postal service has a historic opportunity to invest in our planet and our future. Instead, it is doubling the old technologies that are bad for our environment and harmful to our community,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “Once this purchase is made, we will be stuck with more than 100,000 new gas-gazing vehicles on the surrounding streets, across our state and across the country, to serve at home for the next 30 years. There will be no reset button.” We are going to court to make sure we consider more environmentally friendly alternatives first. “
The U.S. Postal Service has more than 230,000 vehicles in its fleet This includes 190,000 local delivery vehicles – and more than 141,000 older vehicles, built by federal contractor Grumman.
While the new vehicles will significantly improve the working conditions of USPS workers, including air conditioning and heating, advanced ergonomics, and improved vehicle safety technologies including airbags and 360-degree cameras, they will not significantly improve fuel consumption or carbon emissions. The current USPS fleet averages 8.2 miles per gallon; The new trucks will return an average of 8.6 mpg. The EPA challenged the move in February.
In a letter to Postmaster General Louis Dizzy, the EPA said the postal service plan to replace the older fleet of its mail trucks and other delivery vehicles “represents the single largest federal vehicle collection in the near future.” The postal service has the potential to be in service for decades, with decisions on how to replace it being “an unparalleled opportunity for the federal government to lead as an example of climate and clean energy innovation.”
The USPS EPA went ahead with its order in February despite protests. “The men and women of the U.S. Postal Service have waited long enough for safe, clean vehicles,” DeJoy said in a statement when the purchase was approved. However, in March, DJOY was seen retreating, proposing to double EV’s share in the postal service proposal.