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Postal Service Defies Biden Administration, Moving Forward With Plan To Buy Gas-Powered Mail Trucks

The U.S. Postal Service will proceed with an $11.3 billion plan to replace its aging mail trucks with largely gas-powered new vehicles, the agency announced Wednesday, with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ignoring calls from the Biden administration to purchase more electric vehicles.

USPS will “[proceed] with next steps” in its plan to replace its mail trucks after completing a required study of the proposal’s environmental impact, the agency announced Wednesday.

USPS intends to spend $11.3 billion to replace its current mail trucks with up to 165,000 new vehicles over the next 10 years—only 10% of which are guaranteed to be electric vehicles, while the others would have gas-powered engines.

That goes against President Joe Biden’s executive order directing federal vehicles to be converted to “clean and zero-emissions vehicles” by 2035, and the Guardian notes the new gas-powered vehicles would have worse fuel efficiency (8.2 miles per gallon) than the most gas-guzzling pickup trucks.

The Environmental Protection Agency and White House Council on Environmental Quality wrote to USPS in early February asking it to reconsider the plan, with the EPA saying its environmental impact statement for the new trucks was “seriously deficient” and the agency had “systematically and substantially underestimated” the emissions from its new vehicles.

DeJoy has defended the plan, saying buying more electric vehicles is unrealistic given the agency’s financial condition and USPS was “compelled to act prudently in the interest of the American public.”

DeJoy said in a statement Wednesday the agency would pursue buying more electric vehicles “as additional funding – from either internal or congressional sources – becomes available,” but the truck plan “needs to keep moving forward” in the meantime.

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