USPS bows to Congress over electric trucks
Washington Postal Scene by Bill McAllister
United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has made a bow to Congress over his plans for limited electric truck purchases.
The U.S. Postal Service announced June 1 that it will add a supplemental environmental impact statement to its plan for a new generation of mail delivery trucks.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House of Representative’s Committee on Oversight and Reform, expressed delight at the decision, saying it answered the committee’s concerns about how the USPS was justifying its “purchase of gas-guzzling delivery trucks rather than electric vehicles.”
She called the agency’s initial environmental impact statement “deeply flawed” and stressed House Democrats’ arguments aimed at DeJoy’s plan to limit electric truck purchases.
The Biden administration and House Democrats have pressured DeJoy to revise his initial plans to limit electric truck purchases to 10 percent of what is expected to be one of the federal government’s biggest truck buys.
The Postal Service has said it will boost the purchases of electric trucks to 20 percent of the first order.
“Neither the Postal Service nor the American people can afford a gas guzzling postal fleet that will damage our environment when clean, electric vehicles are an option,” Maloney said in a June 1 news release.
ln a June 1 USPS news release announcing the supplemental impact statement, DeJoy stated he has always promised the USPS would “continue to look for opportunities to further increase the electrification of our fleet in a responsible manner.”
He stressed that any change must fit with the agency “operationally, financially and environmentally.”
Speaking on a related matter, Maloney said she has “significant questions about the Postmaster General’s plans to consolidate Postal Service facilities.”
DeJoy outlined those consolidation plans in a speech May 16 at the National Postal Forum, calling it a significant element in his 10-year Delivering for America plan.
Maloney said she would be monitoring DeJoy’s plans “to ensure that mail is delivered on time as the American people expect and deserve.”
DeJoy’s statement tied the supplemental environmental impact review of truck purchases to his plant consolidation plans.
“A modernized network of delivery facilities provides us with such an opportunity” to increase electric truck purchases, he said.
On May 11, Maloney’s committee approved legislation that would block the USPS from securing any new delivery vehicles until it issues a new environmental impact statement on its planned massive truck purchase.
The legislation also declared the Postal Service’s initial impact statement on the trucks invalid.
The legislation cleared the committee on a 20-to-15 vote with Republicans opposing it as an attack on DeJoy.
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