WASHINGTON — A Virginia congressman has introduced a bill to stop the U.S. Postal Service from buying new delivery trucks unless at least 75% are electric.
U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly (D), the co-Chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, introduced the legislation called the Green Postal Service Fleet Act.
The bill’s introduction comes after USPS finalized a contract with industrial company Oshkosh Defense for the purchase of a new, almost entirely gas-powered fleet of delivery vehicles, despite President Joe Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency’s goal of electrifying the federal fleet. However, ultimately neither the president nor the EPA have the authority to stop the Postal Service's plan, as it is an independent agency, according to CBS reports.
“Finalization of this contract is yet another willfully shortsighted decision by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that will prevent the Postal Service from reaching its full 21st Century potential,” Connolly said regarding the decision.
The Postal Service currently owns and operates one of the world’s largest civilian vehicle fleets, composed of more than 230,000 vehicles, according to the service.
“Over 140,000 of these vehicles are decades old, average only ten miles per gallon, and have reached the end of their 24-year operational lifespan,” Connolly’s office stated via press release. “Maintaining these aging vehicles comes at a high environmental and financial cost.”