The USPS’ initial plan was to buy 50,000 gas-powered vehicles from Oshkosh at a cost of close to $3 billion. USPS was hoping to see the next generation vehicles start hitting routes in late 2023, bringing a much-needed update to the current 30+-year-old fleet.
The problem however is that many believe that USPS should have been more committed to the electric vehicle fleet, which they have done in part by increasing their electric vehicle order from 5,000 to over 10,000. Because of this, a total of 16 states and 4 different environmentalist groups filed suits against USPS attempting to block the move stating that the postal service is failing to comply with environmental regulations.
Problems For USPS Ahead?
The states were led by California and New York and joined by the District of Colombia and New York City which is accusing USPS of using flawed and unlawful environmental analysis and signing contracts before even completing a draft environmental review.
“The Postal Service has a historic opportunity to invest in our planet and in our future. Instead, it is doubling down on outdated technologies that are bad for our environment and bad for our communities,”
“Once this purchase goes through, we’ll be stuck with more than 100,000 new gas-guzzling vehicles on neighborhood streets … for the next 30 years. There won’t be a reset button,”
“We’re going to court to make sure the Postal Service complies with the law and considers more environmentally friendly alternatives before it makes this decision.”Rob Bonta, California Attorney General, (Democrat.)
CleanAirNow, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club also sued, as did the UAW and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The White House and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have also asked USPS to reconsider, as have many Democrats in Congress.
In response to the lawsuits, USPS said it has “conducted a robust and thorough review and fully complied with all of our obligations under” environmental law.
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