Sixteen states sue Postal Service over plan to buy gas vehicles

Sixteen states on Thursday sued the U.S. Postal Service over its plan to interchange its growing older supply fleet with 1000’s of gas-powered supply automobiles over the subsequent decade, alleging that the company hasn’t adequately accounted for the environmental hurt of the automobiles. They had been joined by the District of Columbia, the Metropolis of New York and a Bay Space group. Environmental and labor teams filed separate fits.

The lawsuits argue that the company’s environmental evaluation to justify spending as much as $11.3 billion on the fuel vehicles, which solely get 8.6 miles per gallon, was deeply flawed.

The Postal Service has about 230,000 automobiles, making up about one-third of the nation’s whole federal fleet. Its plan to purchase fuel vehicles would blunt President Joe Biden’s pledge to interchange the federal fleet of 600,000 automobiles and vehicles to electrical energy and reduce the federal government’s carbon emissions by 65% by 2030. The administration has pledged to slash U.S. greenhouse fuel emissions practically in half by the top of the last decade and transition the economic system to net-zero emissions by 2050.

United States Postal Service (USPS) employees load mail into supply vehicles exterior a put up workplace in Royal Oak, Michigan, August 22, 2020.

Rebecca Prepare dinner | Reuters

In February, the EPA and the White Home Council on Environmental High quality urged the company to conduct an up to date and extra detailed technical evaluation and maintain a public listening to on its plan.

Nevertheless, the Postal Service later that month accomplished a last regulatory requirement that may enable it to take supply of the primary of the brand new automobiles subsequent 12 months. The company’s plan converts solely 10% of its new vehicles to electrical energy, far beneath pledges from Amazon and UPS, which have massive fleets.

The lawsuit alleges the plan violated the Nationwide Environmental Coverage Act and needs to be put aside. The go well with argues that the Postal Service’s fuel automobiles would cease states from attaining their very own local weather change pledges.

“The Postal Service has a historic alternative to put money into our planet and in our future,” California Lawyer Common Rob Bonta stated in an announcement. “As a substitute, it’s doubling down on outdated applied sciences which can be unhealthy for the environment and unhealthy for our communities.”

“As soon as this buy goes via, we’ll be caught with greater than 100,000 new gas-guzzling automobiles on neighborhood streets, serving houses throughout our state and throughout the nation, for the subsequent 30 years,” Bonta stated. “There will not be a reset button.”

Regardless of the rise in electrical automobiles gross sales lately, the transportation sector is among the largest contributors to the nation’s greenhouse fuel emissions, representing about one-third of the annual whole.

Postal Service spokesperson Kim Frum stated the company “performed a sturdy and thorough assessment and totally complied with all of our obligations beneath NEPA.”

“We should make fiscally prudent selections within the wanted introduction of a brand new automobile fleet,” Frum wrote in an electronic mail. “We’ll proceed to search for alternatives to extend the electrification of our supply fleet in a accountable method, in line with our working technique, the deployment of applicable infrastructure, and our monetary situation, which we count on to proceed to enhance as we pursue our plan.”

Becoming a member of the state of California within the lawsuit are the attorneys basic of 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, in addition to the Metropolis of New York and the Bay Space Air High quality Administration District.

Two separate lawsuits had been filed by environmental teams CleanAirNow, the Middle for Organic Range and the Sierra Membership, with authorized illustration from Earthjustice; and by the Pure Sources Protection Council with the United Auto Staff.

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