USPS plan to order 40,000 “gas-guzzling” vans sparks congressional probe

The U.S. Postal Service’s plan so as to add 40,000 gas-powered vans that solely get 8.6 miles per gallon has sparked a congressional inquiry, with Home lawmakers questioning whether or not the company “relied on flawed assumptions to justify the acquisition of gas-powered vans.”

The Home Committee on Oversight and Reform stated in a Might 12 letter that it needs the USPS to offer extra details about the service’s “Subsequent Technology Supply Car” plan, which initially includes an order for 50,000 autos. Of these, about 40,000 are gas-fueled vans that solely get 8.6 mpg, or solely 0.4 mpg greater than the USPS’ older fleet of vans, in accordance with the Environmental Safety Company. 

The remaining 10,000 vans will likely be electrical autos.

The postal company’s plan to switch its current fleet with largely gas-powered vans has raised considerations amongst greater than a dozen states and environmental teams, with lawsuits filed final month that accuse the USPS of failing to fulfill environmental evaluation requirements. 

A current report from the U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace flagged a number of points with the USPS’ price and profit evaluation for the acquisition, corresponding to basing its buy on a gasoline value of as little as $2.21 per gallon — about $2 a gallon lower than the present value of gasoline.

Within the Might 12 letter, Oversight Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney wrote that she “urge[s] the Postal Service to take steps to quickly transition to an electrical fleet slightly than transferring forward with plans to purchase tens of 1000’s of gas-guzzling vans.”

The inquiry comes after the Home on Wednesday superior a invoice that may invalidate the USPS’ environmental impression assertion (EIS) concerning the impression of the brand new vans, and require the postal company to create a brand new EIS earlier than shopping for extra autos,

Pushback may delay new vans

The USPS stated that it was “discouraged” by the invoice, which it stated may delay the rollout of the vans by a yr or extra. 

A delay “may also have environmental penalties as 30-year outdated environmentally and employee-unfriendly autos proceed to journey by American neighborhoods, and our buy of 10,019 electrical autos is placed on maintain,” a USPS spokeswoman stated in an e mail to CBS MoneyWatch. “The women and men of the U.S. Postal Service have waited lengthy sufficient for safer, cleaner autos.”

The dispute over the brand new autos stems from a 2021 settlement between the USPS and Oshkosh Protection, championed by Postmaster Common Louis DeJoy, to provide 50,000 autos out of a brand new fleet of 165,000 vans. The $482 million contract has elicited blended reactions, with critics calling out the whole lot from the vans’ design to their gasoline effectivity. 

Critics say the USPS’ “subsequent technology” supply truck (seen in a promotional shot above), which will get lower than 9 mpg, is a gasoline guzzler.


Witnesses at an April listening to concerning the car deal raised questions on whether or not the USPS “used flawed assumptions in its environmental and value analyses to justify the acquisition of gas-guzzling supply vans slightly than electrical autos,” Maloney wrote within the Might 12 letter. 

Apart from the assumptions about gasoline costs that had been off by $2 a gallon, Maloney cited the GAO’s discovering that the USPS “miscalculated upkeep prices for electrical autos.” She famous that others have stated that the postal company additionally relied on inaccurate details about the price of EV chargers and the vary of EVs.

The USPS stated that the criticism of its environmental impression assertion ignores the company’s “distinctive supply profile, which requires our autos to journey brief distances between a whole bunch of curbside packing containers and to cease and begin often all through the day, which is a vastly completely different supply profile than that of our opponents.”

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