Statement: States sue to stop misguided USPS plan to spend billions on gas powered vehicles

Media Contacts
Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Environment America; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

WASHINGTON – Attorneys general from 16 states,the District of Columbia and environmental groups sued the U.S. Postal Service on Thursday to halt purchases of thousands of gas-powered trucks that only get 8.6 ils per gallon, only a small improvement over teh 30-year-old vehicles currently in use. The suits claim that USPS’s plans to spend up to $11.3B on gas-powered vehicles were based on faulty assumptions and miscalculations. The lawsuits ask federal courts to prevent the agency from purchasing the trucks until it reanalyzes their environmental impact.

The Postal Service’s own analysis found that electric vehicles could serve over 95% of mail routes today, but the agency’s plan to “modernize” its fleet would electrify only 10%. The Postal Service Office of Inspector General also found that while electric vehicles cost more upfront, they would save the agency money on lifetime vehicle costs due to lower fuel and maintenance costs. 

In response, U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director Matt Casale issued the following statement:

“We’re grateful to the attorneys general from states across the country for bringing this action to stop the Postal Service’s misguided plan to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on gas-powered vehicles. The Postal Service needs new vehicles, but it makes no sense to enact a plan that would lock in polluting vehicles for decades to come. These trucks drive in our neighborhoods everyday: We should make sure they aren’t dirtying our air, but instead help support healthier and cleaner communities.”

Environment America Washington Legislative Office Executive Director Lisa Frank said:

“We must electrify cars, vans, buses and trucks in order to secure a livable climate.. The transition to zero emission vehicles will take leadership at every level. Our governments should be leading by example. The Postal Service fleet travels millions of miles in neighborhoods across the country every year. It makes perfect sense that those vehicles should be electric. Hopefully, this lawsuit will ensure the Postal Service takes prudent and common-sense action in line with their own analysis that nearly all routes could be served by electric vehicles.”