December 9, 2022

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Sixteen states sue Postal Service over plan to buy gas-powered cars

Sixteen states sue Postal Service over plan to buy gas-powered cars

USPS workers load mail into delivery trucks outside a post office in Royal Oak, Michigan, August 22, 2020.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Sixteen states on Thursday File a lawsuit against the US Postal Service During its plan to replace its aging delivery fleet with Thousands of gas-powered delivery vehicles over the next decade, alleging that the agency did not adequately account for the vehicles’ environmental damage. They were joined by many other government agencies, environmental and labor groups.

The lawsuits argue that the Postal Service’s environmental analysis to justify spending up to $11.3 billion on gas trucks, which is only 8.6 miles per gallon, was deeply flawed.

The Postal Service owns about 230,000 vehicles, which make up about a third of the country’s entire federal fleet. Her plan to buy gas trucks will affect President Joe Biden’s plan He pledged to replace the federal fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks with electric power and cut government carbon emissions by 65% ​​by 2030. The administration has pledged to nearly halve US greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade and transform the economy to net zero emissions by 2050.

In February, the EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality urged the Postal Service to do so Perform updated and more detailed technical analysis He held a public hearing about her plan.

However, postal service later that month Completed a final regulatory requirement That would allow it to receive the first new vehicles next year. The agency’s plan is to convert just 10% of its new trucks to electric power, well short of pledges by Amazon and UPS, which have large delivery fleets.

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The lawsuit alleges that the plan violated the National Environmental Policy Act and should be set aside. The suit says the Postal Service’s gas cars will prevent countries from meeting their climate change pledges.

“The Postal Service has a historic opportunity to invest in our planet and our future,” said California Attorney General Rob Ponta. He said in a statement. “Instead, it doubles down on old technologies that are harmful to our environment and harmful to our societies.”

“Once this purchase is completed, we will be hanging more than 100,000 new fuel-guzzling cars on neighborhood streets, serving homes across our state and across the country, for the next 30 years,” Ponta said. “There will be no reset button.”

Although the rise in electric car Sales In recent years, the transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the country, accounting for about a third of all emissions each year.

Postal Service spokesman Kim Froome said the agency “has conducted a robust and thorough review and has fully complied with all of our obligations under the NEPA Act.”

“We must make financially wise decisions on the required entry of a new fleet of vehicles,” Froome wrote in an email. “We will continue to seek opportunities to increase the electrification of our delivery fleet in a responsible manner, in line with our operational strategy, appropriate infrastructure deployment, and our financial condition, which we expect will continue to improve as we pursue our plan.”

California was joined in the lawsuit by attorneys general for Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. In addition to New York City and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

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Two separate cases were brought by environmental groups CleanAirNow, the Center for Biodiversity and the Sierra Club, with legal representation from Earthjustice; It is endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council with the Auto Workers Union.