Politics

House Democrat calls for resignation of postmaster general after purchase of gas-powered trucks

On Wednesday, a senior House Democrat called for the resignation of Louis DeJoy, who is the postmaster general, saying he disregarded President Biden’s plan to electrify the federal fleet by placing a multibillion-dollar order for mostly gasoline-powered vehicles.

Representative Gerald Connolly, the Virginia Democrat who leads the House subcommittee overseeing the United States Postal Service, called the move to invest in more gas-powered trucks “antediluvian” and a threat to the government’s ability to fight climate change.

“The average age of the postal fleet is 30 years,” Mr. Connolly said. “They’re spewing pollution and they are guzzling gas. There is no question we have to replace the fleet, and it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take electric vehicle technology to the next level with the second- largest vehicle fleet in America.”

“If we miss this opportunity, it sets back the whole thrust of the electric vehicle agenda,” he said.

The Postal Service owns more than 231,000 vehicles, which is one of the largest civilian fleets in the world. The order, for up to 165,000 trucks, would be the Postal Service’s first large-scale vehicle purchase in three decades, according to a statement from Oshkosh Defense.

Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality wrote to Mr. DeJoy on Wednesday to say that the Postal Service had made the wrong decision to buy gasoline powered trucks based on a flawed environmental analysis.

“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 E.P.A. associate administrator for policy. The agency letter was first reported by The Washington Post.

Kim Frum, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said it was reviewing the letters from the environmental agencies.

Ms. Frum said the post office “fully satisfied” the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires agencies to consider the environmental consequences before taking major actions. She said the concerns raised by the White House and E.P.A. stemmed from “policy disagreements” rather than the analysis itself.

“While we can understand why some who are not responsible for the financial sustainability of the Postal Service might prefer that we acquire more electric vehicles, the law requires us to be self-sufficient,” Ms. Frum wrote in a statement. “For that reason, given our current financial condition, the total cost of ownership of our delivery vehicle fleet must be a part of our analysis.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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