Chair Castor, Senators Markey and Heinrich, Congressional Colleagues Urge Postmaster General DeJoy and Board of Governors to Abandon Harmful Postal Service Procurement Plan, Dramatically Increase Mail Delivery Fleet Electrification
WASHINGTON – On Friday, Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and 16 other members of Congress in a letter calling on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Chairman of the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors Roman Martinez IV 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 percent 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 percent of mail carriers’ routes could be electrified.
The 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.
“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,” write the Representatives and Senators in their letter to Postmaster General DeJoy and Chairman Martinez. “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.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.
Other Representatives signing the letter include Paul Tonko (NY-20) and Jared Huffman (CA-06).
Senators signing the letter also include Thomas Carper (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
This letter is supported by the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), EVHybridNoire, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Sierra Club, Climate Reality, Mobilify Southwestern Pennsylvania, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Center for Biological Diversity, the League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), CALSTART, and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).