Connolly leads effort to stop DeJoy’s purchase of gas-guzzling vehicle fleet
Congressman Gerry Connolly is leading the introduction of the Green Postal Service Fleet Act, legislation that would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service from carrying out any purchase of a new fleet of delivery vehicles unless 75 percent of the new vehicles are electric or otherwise emissions-free.
Connolly introduced the legislation after USPS finalized a contract with Oshkosh Defense for the purchase of a new, almost entirely gas-powered fleet of delivery vehicles, despite President Biden’s clear and stated goal of electrifying the federal fleet.
“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,” said Connolly (D-VA-11), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations and co-chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. “In flagrant contradiction to President Biden’s admirable and ambitious goal to electrify the federal fleet, USPS has tethered itself to a technology that is well on its way to obsolescence – striking a devastating blow to our climate, to our effort to lead the world in green technology, and to our beloved Postal Service. This contract cannot move forward.”
The Postal Service currently owns and operates one of the world’s largest civilian vehicle fleets, composed of more than 228,000 vehicles. 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.
Maintaining these aging vehicles comes at a high environmental and financial cost—the Postal Service spends $2 billion and over 30,000 hours per year on delivery vehicle maintenance, and in Fiscal Year 2019 fuel costs alone for these vehicles totaled $491 million.
Many of these vehicles also pose risks to the frontline workers who drive them. They lack airbags and antilock brakes, and there have been numerous accounts of these vehicles catching fire.
Last month, Connolly and fellow leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition sent a letter to Postmaster DeJoy detailing their strong opposition to USPS’s contract with Oshkosh.