The proposed design of USPS trucks got a lot of attention and some laughs for the way it looks, but it should have been lambasted for something far more sinister in its design: 90 percent of the trucks Postmaster General Luis DeJoy wanted to buy burn fossil fuels and have a worse fuel economy than a Ford F-150.
Last month, the USPS closed the second comment period for its new mail truck plans. 43,000 Earthjustice supporters told the Postal Service to lead the electric vehicle revolution rather than impede it. These comments have already made a difference in this fight, as the Postal Service announced it will make 40% of its new truck purchases electric — up from 10% when we started this campaign.
Fortunately, the public outrage has raised the profile of this issue and is already paying dividends. Congress just authorized $3 billion for electric postal trucks as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The additional injection of cash for truck electrification eliminates one of the bad faith excuses the Postal Service has used to avoid electrifying its fleet.
Even with Congress’ investment, we need the public in this fight for the long haul. The terms of two Trump-appointed members of the Postal Service Board of Governors will expire in December, and we’ll need public help to make sure they’re replaced with people who will ensure that the Postal Service does not miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean our air and fight the climate crisis.
A senior attorney in Los Angeles, Adrian works on clean air, clean energy, and environmental justice issues.