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U.S. Postal Service new truck woes now include 16-state lawsuit

The embroiled U.S. Postal Service is again facing criticism. This time it’s a lawsuit filed by 16 states. The action claims the agency’s decision to spend $11.3 billion on gas-powered trucks in the next decade is unsound.

The states, joined by the District of Columbia, the City of New York and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, allege the agency hasn’t adequately accounted for the environmental harm of the vehicles. Environmental and labor groups filed separate suits.

With a cost of as much as $11.3 billion, the new trucks will reportedly average 8.6 miles per gallon.

The pending new USPS trucks area again stuck in controversy.
The pending new USPS trucks are again stuck in controversy.

Postal Service spokesperson Kim Frum said the agency “conducted a robust and thorough review and fully complied with all of our obligations under” the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Postal Service has about 230,000 vehicles, about one-third of the country’s entire federal fleet.

President Joe Biden has pledged to replace the federal fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles and cut the government’s carbon emissions by 65 percent by 2030. The administration has pledged to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by the end of the decade and transition the economy to net-zero emissions by 2050.

In February, the EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality urged the agency to conduct an updated and more detailed technical analysis and hold a public hearing on its plan.

However, the Postal Service later that month completed a final regulatory requirement that would allow it to take delivery of the first of the new vehicles next year. The agency’s plan converts only 10% of its new trucks to electric power, far below pledges from Amazon and UPS, which have large fleets.

The lawsuit alleges the plan violated the National Environmental Policy Act and should be set aside. The suit argues the Postal Service’s gas vehicles would stop states from achieving their climate change pledges.

“The Postal Service has a historic opportunity to invest in our planet and our future,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “Instead, it is doubling down on outdated technologies that are bad for our environment and bad for our communities.”

The states included in the lawsuit: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia, as well as the City of New York.

Separate lawsuits were filed by CleanAirNow, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, with legal representation from Earthjustice; and the Natural Resources Defense Council with the United Auto Workers.

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TeeCee
4 months ago

His about the Green Weinies all ride bicycles to show their dedication to what they are convinced is “fact”? And the rest of us will do what we want.

Deb Bedunah
4 months ago

My son law has buy his own uspsVehicle that’s not right for rural area .country .crazy.buy his own gas .maybe get reimbursed .with all cars trucks who ever gets new ones they need give the old ones to the rural areas .not just in city .

Randy
4 months ago

This is crazy. Maybe the average IS 8.6 MPG, but the at the lower end, they’re only driven one block, parked, the driver gets out and walks around, then drives to the next block, then repeat. Some of these trucks are only driven 10 miles a day and sometimes much less. That’s why they can keep them for 20 or 30 years. This argument is ridiculous and unreasonable.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago

This is all nonsense poppycock people. The current treehuggers will be thrown out of office in short order, and gas guzzling postal vehicles (there is no other kind) will be the order of the day. Yes, you will see squandering of a few “prototypes”, that claim to be the next coming, but then that will be followed by articles of how they really didn’t work, and couldn’t be used in cold weather, blah, blah, blah.

Bob M
4 months ago

These same Attorney Generals that signed up for this lawsuit. Did nothing when the post office didn’t deliver the mail and veterans and senior citizens didn’t get their needed medication. Many didn’t get their bills to pay on time. You know where their priority is.

SJS
4 months ago

So lemme get this straight: The same government that mandates CAFE standards requiring new cars, SUVs, and light trucks together average 35 MPG goes ahead and signs a multi-year, multi-billion dollar contract for a fleet that averages 8.6 MPG?

What sort of “do as I say, not as I do” government do we have these days?

James
4 months ago
Reply to  SJS

You can’t compare the fuel economy test for Cafe to the specialized duty cycle tests that the USPS uses.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  SJS

Lets analyze; Physics is, well a bunch of laws. And because we are governed by the laws of physics, LARGE BOX TYPE VEHICLES will NEVER get respectable mpg.

What i find incredibly funny here is this is an RV forum. You know guys, what we all drive are gas guzzlers too. Now that there is just too funny.

Michael
4 months ago

They shouldn’t of made a Hasty decision on the the mail truck contract hackney had a all electric truck with a range extender.

Marc Stauffer
4 months ago

I live in a Northern state where we get a thing called Winter and snow. Temps regularly never see the upside of 32 degrees. Lithium batteries can be discharged but not charged without damage at those temps and the mail fleets have no heated garage to overnight in (heated garage, now there’s a waste of energy). Snow equals all wheel or 4×4 drive and that kills the batteries range. What about heat for the driver, windshield wipers, a/c in summer, lights and etc…..all battery killers. Electric has it’s place, it’s still too impractical for this application.

Jeff Craig
4 months ago
Reply to  Marc Stauffer

You are somewhat accurate, but you failed to point out that there are means to get around the ‘cold weather’ shortcomings you mention. BattleBorn makes LiFe4PO batteries with internal heaters to keep the batteries above freezing, protecting them and increasing their charging capacity. Here is an FAQ from a battery manufacturer that will bring you up to speed on current technology and keep you from spreading outdated information.

https://relionbattery.com/knowledge/using-lithium-batteries-in-cold-weather

Bob p
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

What everyone is forgetting, which the current administration is good at is the PO will have billions of dollars in installing hi powered chargers for all those trucks in the PO yards around the country. They all ready have the gas tanks and refueling islands on hand. The mpg’s of these trucks is no different than what you would get starting and stopping every 200’. It’ll be the same whether gas or electric, more electricity is used from stop to start up than cruising, perfect example right here at RVTravel.com. Look at your A/C how much current it draws at startup compared to normal running.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Bob, you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, when you bring up common sense information with some. This will just be a wasteful merry-go-round. The problem is the ribbon cutting, baby kissing politicians have the pocketbook, except its filled with funny money that we have no intention of paying back. Think about that for a moment.

BILLY Bob Thronton
4 months ago
Reply to  Marc Stauffer

Marc, you left out the part where the gov’t will spend our tax dollars to try and overcome the common sense response you just made. They know they can’t be used, but the awarded gov’t contract recipients won’t say that. Instead, they will waste millions, and look stylish doing it!

Warren G
4 months ago

Electric makes sense for most mail routes. I doubt that even most rural routes are close to the range of these vehicles. No emissions, greatly reduced maintenance, why not?

Tom Hamp
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren G

How are you going to power the generation plants to produce all of this electricity for batteries? Natural gas, oil, coal or what? How much does that cost? Whats the trade off for electric generation vs. gasoline, diesel powered trucks. How about hybrids?

Randy
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren G

If you’ve been keeping up with the situation the last few years, the post office really did want to go all electric. But the cost was too high, and no one had the capability to deliver the quantity of vehicles (batteries, chips, etc.) they needed within the time frame specified before the current vehicles were retired.

1HasBeen
4 months ago

Electric certainly makes sense in some areas, but not all areas. In many places there are very long rural routes where their Makita-mobiles will not make sense. Gas and diesel will be necessary for quite some time to come. Get over it. The eco-nazis just can’t let it go. We need an “all of the above” energy strategy. As electric becomes more feasible over time people and companies will adopt it. Ridiculous mandates don’t work.

James
4 months ago
Reply to  1HasBeen

Given the employee has to sort, load the van and then at the end of the shift unload and assist in preparation for loading the freight truck, the maximum drive time is only about 6 hours or 250 miles when factoring in time spent delivering.

Also, most rural routes are delivered by independent contractors that use a company/private vehicle. So the new mail truck will not likely be used on risk routes.

Jeff Craig
4 months ago
Reply to  James

What James said is dead on. Rural Route carriers are already driving electric vehicles in my area of the Puget Sound – There is one I’ve seen near Granite Falls, WA who is driving an Escape Hybrid. Those new Ford Transit EV’s can carry a lot of mail and packages, and with the ranges they would need to drive, they can easily be recharged at night.

Gordy B
4 months ago
Reply to  James

Has anyone factored in the high number of stop and go for a postal route? IMHO they should give all the electric vehicles to California and let them work it out, including the mountain areas year round.

James
4 months ago
Reply to  Gordy B

Yes, and guess what happens with EVs? They can be set up to maximize regenerative braking abs minimize brake pad use. Which helps keep the vans delivering and reduces the number of brake jobs.

Jimmie
4 months ago

Time for the door to door mail delivery system to end. Install apartment style mailboxes every couple blocks and let people walk to the box or stop by on their way home from work or errands. Sure, there are the exceptions for seniors or the housebound but there is a more efficient way to deliver the mail.

Crowman
4 months ago

What does this have t do with RVing?

Bruce
4 months ago

Far as I am concerned they can cut back on mail deliveries to 3 or 4 days a week. Mostly I get is junk mail anyway. Save fuel, maintenance, and labor costs.

MattD
4 months ago
Reply to  Bruce

YES! I’ve always been a proponent of 5 day delivery, but 4 day is even better!

Dave
4 months ago

Invest in electric. The grid can be supplied by any source. Invest in nuclear to power the grid, cheaply & safely, while we build newer technologies over time to replace. Solar and wind aren’t ready for scale but improving. Important for the long run as the planet screams.

Gary Yoder
4 months ago

Just one more overreach by current President who doesn’t have the mental ability to see the real issue. Not everyone is blinded by the Climate guru’s who want to do away with the natural resources our Creator has given us. We used to be energy efficient
,but that all changed when the US went woke.

Jeff Craig
4 months ago
Reply to  Gary Yoder

And here we have validation of your statement. You are completely bass-ackwards in your entire statement.

The ‘climate gurus’ are scientists, who test their theories with observations and argue their theories amongst each other. They all (99.7% of them) have reached the same conclusion. This is scientific fact, just like gravity, a spherical planet (regardless of flat earthers objections) and electro-magnetism.

You claim a ‘Creator’ blessed us with ‘natural resources’, but those were actually laid down millions of years ago by past life. They didn’t just ‘magically manifest’… Finally, an LED bulb is vastly more energy efficient than the incandescents we used for 100 years. Electric cars were the rage in the 1910’s, until gas became widely available.

Please, learn from this and stop spreading false info.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jeff Craig
Ed D.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

You mean the 97% that the msm will actually allow to give their opinion? I would also like to point out the other many scientists that refute everything the climate crazies are predicting! Jeff, you have the right to believe as you choose. So does Gary Yoder and anyone else that doesn’t agree with you! So you need to learn from this, that your “opinion” is not the final word. Neither is the “opinion” of the so-called 97% of the scientists you follow.

Jeff Craig
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed D.

LOL – so if 100 people walk into the middle of a busy highway because someone tells them they have nothing to fear from the cars and truck – and 97 of them get run over – does that make them science deniers, zealots or just plain gullible?

The ‘MSM’ is not so much ‘main stream’ as just reporting the facts they can verify. Furthermore, you should also look at stories in smaller, independent news organizations – not a blog – that show ‘Big Oils’ complicity. There have been several of the originally 3% of climate scientist that were getting funding from the fossil fuel industry that have refuted their own research.

Now, I doubt you will even look at those links, but you don’t have to. Like you said, my ‘opinion’ is not the final word, but I listen to the people who study the subject and know what they are talking about. Here’s hoping you do some research that runs counter to your ‘opinion’, and maybe you’ll stop ‘playing in traffic’.

Ed D.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

The people walking into the street analogy was dumb at best. I thought you were more creative than that. Comparing the 100 people, using your analogy, I would have to venture that the street was closed with no traffic whatsoever. Because the narrative you and your scientists are giving is not a proven science. Just their guess.
The msm stopped reporting the facts years ago. With that comment from you, I realize that it will do no good to continue this conversation between each other. You are going to have your take and I have mine. So we can agree to be on opposite sides of the spectrum on this one Jeff. Enjoy what is left of the weekend!

Ed D.
4 months ago

All the crazy States, doing what they normally do! Causing trouble! With the increased prices at the grocery stores and the threat of not having enough food by this summer in the stores, you would think that they would maybe concentrate on that issue! But that would make too much sense.

Jeff Craig
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed D.

You won’t have food in the grocery store when the crops are withering in the fields due to no rain and drained aquifers, nor when the pollinators are dropping dead from starvation due to wildlands burning.

All because ‘Big Oil’ needed to give their CEO a huge bonus.

This is ALL interconnected. Like Chief Sealth (Seattle) was attributed to have said (later printed as ‘his letter to President Pierce in 1855’; Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.”

We are up to our chins in a metaphorical Pit Toilet.

Ed D.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

Excuse me? Did you know that the government was actually not allowing Farmers out west to irrigate their crops from a canal that was there specifically for that purpose? Don’t be so quick to buy into the drought narrative you are being fed. I realize that forest fires do a lot of damage but that is not the only reason we will have a shortage this summer. Most of our fertilizer comes from Europe and due to the war going on between Russia and Ukraine, we are going to have severe shortages. So what does that have to do with “Big Oil” CEO’s, giving themselves a huge bonus?

Jeff Craig
4 months ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Fertilizer is generally derived from natural gas – something Russia exports a lot of. And while I agree that the US imports a large chunk of our fertilizer, we mainly use it on ‘factory farms’ because we have a ‘cheap food’ policy (one I agree with – no one should go hungry in America). What this has to do with ‘Big Oil’ is simple – they are extracting and profiting from the very thing that is warming our planet – carbon based fuels. These companies also get a TON of tax subsidies (and cheap/free access to Public Lands) from taxpayers like you and me. I’d much rather see my tax dollars go to better roads (yes, those use oil products, too), better schools, Medicare access for all Americans and environmental protections.

As for the ‘drought narrative’, please show me where we are secretly getting MORE rain than is being reported. There are issues with how that water has been ‘managed’, (I mean, why grow almond trees in the desert???), but the facts remain – there is less precipitation, drier soils and worse fire seasons than 20, 50 or 80 years ago. But, please, feel free to prove me wrong.

Ed D.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

I was merely pointing out that the drought issue is not the only issue that is plaguing Farmers this year.
So you are okay with Roads being made with Fossil fuels but not Fuel itself? There is no way that we could supply anywhere near the amount of energy it would take to charge the entire Nation of EV’s. Heck, Ca. can’t even keep their electric on now as it is.
Also, I hear all of this talk about global warming and how we should move away from fossil fuels by individuals such as John Kerry and Al Gore! All while they are flying in their Jets from place to place. Hypocrites! The whole lot of them.
I also remember all of the times that people like Kerry and Gore, along with your scientists, predicted we would have Armageddon within 10 to 15 years. Those time frames came and went and here we are, still here! I do not believe a word of the Climate change purveyors and I certainly do not believe that the seas are going to rise any more than 1/10th of 1″, over the next 100 years. It is all designed to direct us towards so-called, clean energy, that people like Kerry and Gore will profit big time.
So you keep believing the climate lies and I will keep believing that they are exactly that, lies!

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
4 months ago

I haven’t driven a car that only got 8 mpg since the 1960s! Sounds like a giant leap backwards! Who is profiting from this order? Follow the money!

Seann Fox
4 months ago

You forget these vehicles are constant stop and go. That makes the mileage much worse.

Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

exactly why they should be electric

Gordy B
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Makes sense to me three vehicles to do what one can do now, due to stop and go and recharge. NOT…..

KellyR
4 months ago

Hmmm. My 1950s and 1960s easily got 12 mpg.

Ken
4 months ago
Reply to  KellyR

Everyone is worried about burning alot of fuel. We had full size cars getting 40 mpg in the 60 s but the oil Co. bought the technology and buried it . There isn’t anybody doing a thing about that. We could have been saving trillions oil barrels . Opec does what they want in order to get the bigger profits so we are all to blame for letting them get away with it. If you want to point fingers at someone start by pointing at yourself.

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