Biden officials push to hold up $11.3 billion USPS truck contract, citing climate damage


By: - Climate DepotFebruary 2, 2022 3:18 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/02/02/usps-trucks-epa-climate-change/

The Biden administration launched a last-minute push Wednesday to derail the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to spend billions of dollars on a new fleet of gasoline-powered delivery trucks, citing the damage the polluting vehicles could inflict on the climate and Americans’ health.

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, and the EPA warned the agency last fall that its environmental analysis of the contract rested on flawed assumptions and missing data.

The EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality sent letters to the Postal Service on Wednesday 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 Jan. 28.

“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,” wrote Vicki Arroyo, the EPA’s associate administrator for policy.

Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and even rising sales of electrical vehicles have yet to make a dent. Electric vehicle proponents had hoped the Postal Service purchase would provide a boost for the industry.