More than 50 House Democrats have signed a letter supporting $8 billion to replace USPS trucks with electric vehicles: report

May 9, 2021
In The News

More than 50 House Democrats have signed onto a draft letter in support of an $8 billion bailout for the USPS that would allow it to buy new electric delivery vehicles, according to The Washington Post.

"To ensure that any federal funding appropriated to the Postal Service for fleet acquisition is used appropriately, we would also include a requirement in legislation that at least 75% of the Postal Service's new fleet must be electric or zero-emission," says the draft letter, which was obtained by the Post. "Further, we would require the Postal Service to acquire only electric or zero-emission vehicles after 2040."

House Democrats plan to send the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden, The Post reported.

Without a bailout from Congress, the USPS plans to replace many of its aging mail trucks with new gas-powered ones, which would pose a blow to President Joe Biden's sustainability goals of cutting fossil fuel emissions.

Biden in a January executive order called on federal agencies to transition their vehicles to electric, though the USPS in February announced it had awarded a contract for new vehicles that included both gas-powered engines and electric vehicles, Utility Dive reported in February.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told Congress in March that it would be "unfeasible" to replace its aging trucks with electric vehicles without billions in aid from Congress. With the funds, DeJoy said the majority of USPS vehicles could be electric within the next decade, Reuters reported.

As The Post noted, such a plan could create a rare coalition between Democrats and DeJoy who have been at odds with each other over issues that include USPS service delays and its handling of the lead up to the 2020 election.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat from New York who leads the House Committee on Oversight and reform, and Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon who leads the House Committee on transportation have put their support behind the $8 billion plan, according to the Post's report.

"The Postal Service has one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world, but far too many postal vehicles are outdated, guzzle gas, and pose a risk to the dedicated Postal Service employees who use them to serve the public every day," Maloney said in a statement, according to the report.