Postal Updates

USPS receives sustainability award from Biden administration; DeJoy does U-turn on electric vehicles

Jul 8, 2024, 1 PM

By Allen Abel, Washington Correspondent

The Biden administration has conferred the Presidential Federal Sustainability award upon Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s United States Postal Service for “electrifying the largest federal fleet.”

At the same time, a number of Democratic members of the House of Representatives were urging President Joe Biden to nominate a new slate of individuals to the Postal Service’s board of governors in the hope that they will oust DeJoy.

“Our team has built a great relationship with members of the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of Clean Energy and Innovation and Implementation, to build one of the world’s largest electric delivery vehicle fleets,” DeJoy was quoted as saying in a USPS press release on June 26.

“Our work together demonstrates electrification and sustainability efforts can coexist — not conflict — with cost savings, efficiency gains, and operational transformation priorities,” DeJoy said.

Recipients of the sustainability award were selected from a pool of more than 140 nominees and represent domestic and international facilities or projects spanning 10 federal agencies, according to the USPS announcement.

Earlier in his tenure, the postmaster general had cited the Postal Service’s budgetary woes as the reason why he could move to electrify only 10 percent of his rusted-out motor pool.

Democrats, who already rejected DeJoy as a Donald Trump campaign donor and appointee, became even more enraged.

“This is directly counter to the goals both Congress and the president have set to have an emissions-free federal fleet,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., told The New York Times in February 2022. “I would love for him to resign and if he won’t resign, I want the [USPS] board of governors to fire him.”

Then, in fall 2023, a $3 billion cornucopia of federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act enabled DeJoy to announce that the USPS would be adding 66,000 electric vehicles to its fleet by 2028.

Politico labeled DeJoy’s U-turn toward an all-electric fleet “a remarkable change of script for one of the more memorable side characters of the Trump years.”

In February of this year, more than 80 Democratic members of the House called on Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Service’s board of governors as a means to outnumber Trump appointees to the board and remove DeJoy.

In May, Connolly was one of four ranking members of House committees who urged the Postal Regulatory Commission to deny DeJoy’s request for a 5¢ hike in first-class postage that was scheduled to go into effect July 14.

The Postal Regulatory Commission declined to thwart the 7.4 percent first-class postal rate increase, but it issued a statement on May 30 that “strongly encouraged the Postal Service Board of Governors to consider exercising their business judgment, consistent with statutory and regulatory requirements, not to increase rates by the full amount permitted by law.”

That recommendation from the commission did not mollify the four ranking committee members in the House.

“Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s ‘Delivering for America’ plan is doing anything but,” a press assistant to Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., one of the four aforementioned ranking members of House committees who wrote to the Postal Regulatory Commission, told Linn’s by email on June 25.

“It remains critical that all slots on the Board of Governors are filled to help mediate any further damage the USPS has suffered under Postmaster General DeJoy,” Krishnamoorthi’s assistant said.

DeJoy, meanwhile, is said to be enjoying his newfound status as an environmentalist.

“What I hear him saying is the Postal Service is going to be the greenest delivery company in the nation, and that not using us to deliver packages is going to be like not recycling,” Politico reported in August 2023, quoting “a person close to DeJoy.”

“He jokingly says that between electric vehicles and reducing our transportation network and our own carbon footprint, he’s going to get the Nobel Prize for green,” Politico quoted the source as saying.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter
Like us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter