Biden officials go to bat against DeJoy plan to replace USPS fleet — citing climate change

Biden officials go to bat against DeJoy plan to replace USPS fleet — citing climate change
U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in 2020, Wikimedia Commons

Eventually, President Joe Biden would like to see the United States’ entire fleet of federal government vehicles converted to green energy — a goal designed to combat the threat of climate change. But the president’s long-term goal, according to the Washington Post, is being undermined by Postmaster Louis DeJoy’s plan for up to 165,000 new U.S. Postal Service trucks; most of them, under DeJoy’s plan, would be gas-powered vehicles rather than electric vehicles.

Post reporters Anna Phillips and Jacob Bogage explain, “The dispute over the Postal Service’s plans to spend up to $11.3 billion on as many as 165,000 new delivery trucks over the next decade has major implications for President Biden’s goal of converting all federal cars and trucks to clean power. Postal Service vehicles make up a third of the government’s fleet.”

On February 2, according to Phillips and Bogage, the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality “sent letters to the Postal Service” that “urge it to reconsider plans to buy mostly gas-powered vehicles and conduct a new, more thorough technical analysis.”

“The EPA also asked the Postal Service to hold a public hearing on its fleet modernization plans — a request the agency had rejected when California regulators made it January 28,” Phillips and Bogage report.

In a letter, Vicki Arroyo, associate policy administrator for the EPA, complained, “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.”

DeJoy has more than his share of critics in the Democratic Party, and they believe he has made postal delivery worse in the United States since being appointed postmaster general by former President Donald Trump. But over a year into Biden’s presidency, DeJoy remains in that position.

“While policymakers agree that the Postal Service’s aging and unsafe fleet is due for an upgrade,” Phillips and Bogage note, “the question of how to do it has fueled a fight between Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Donald Trump donor and holdover from the last administration, and Biden officials, as well as environmental groups, state regulators and the United Auto Workers union. DeJoy, who oversaw the agency’s decision to award the truck contract to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense, signed off on a plan calling for only 10% of the new trucks to be electric and offering only a 0.4-mile-per-gallon fuel economy improvement over the agency’s current fleet, which is nearly 30 years old.”

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