Democrats Ask for Investigation Into DeJoy’s Gas Guzzler Contract

Louis DeJoy has decided to go ahead with the purchase of 165,000 gas guzzling USPS vehicles over the objections of the White House and Democrats who say that the multi-billion dollar contract would undermine climate goals for the country.

In a letter to USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb, House Democrats questioned whether the Postal Service had complied with a law requiring the agency to submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the new trucks.

The EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality have said that DeJoy has made a flawed environmental analysis to buy gas-powered trucks, and called the EIS “seriously deficient.”

The EPA says the USPS did not consider any alternatives, and that the contract was issued before completing the flawed review. The White House Council on Environmental Policy said the contract was drawn up and committed funds for the deal before an environmental impact review was even started.

Democrats also are asking whether the cost of electric powered vehicles was substantially higher than a private company price.

  • The Postal Service estimates the gas powered trucks will achieve 29.9 miles per gallon, but an EPA analysis estimates the trucks would get half that, 14.7 miles per gallon, and 8.6 miles per gallon with air conditioning operating.
  • Biden has ordered federal agencies to phase out gas guzzlers and only purchase zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. The USPS is an independent agency not bound by White House climate agenda rules.

DeJoy has argued that the USPS cannot afford more than 10% of its fleet to be electric, so ninety percent of the contract is for a gas powered fleet.

A $6 billion appropriation to help pay for electric vehicles and charging stations is stuck in the stalled Build Back Better Act.

Congress did pass a sweeping USPS reform bill last week that’s aimed at improving the agency’s financial health, though it remains unclear whether USPS would use any funds that get freed up as a result on new electric vehicles.

Forbes, New York Times