Connolly Leads 68 Members in Introducing Legislation to Stop DeJoy’s Purchase of Gas Guzzling Vehicle Fleet
Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations and co-Chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, led 68 Members of Congress in introducing the Green Postal Service Fleet Act, legislation that would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) 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. “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.
The Green Postal Service Fleet Act is cosponsored by the following Members of Congress: A. Donald McEachin, Adam Smith, Alma Adams, Barbara Lee, Bobby L. Rush, Brad Schneider, Brendan Boyle, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Chellie Pingree, Chuy Garcia, Darren Soto, David Trone, Diana DeGette, Dina Titus, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Doris Matsui, Dwight Evans, Earl Blumenauer, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Emanuel Cleaver II, Jackie Speier, Jake Auchincloss, Jamaal Bowman, Jamie Raskin, Jan Schakowsky, Jared Huffman, Jerrold Nadler, Jerry McNerney, Jim Cooper, Jim McGovern, Jimmy Gomez, Joe Courtney, John Larson, John R. Garamendi, John Sarbanes, Julia Brownley, Karen Bass, Kathy Castor, Katie Porter, Kweisi Mfume, Marie Newman, Mark DeSaulnier, Mark Takano, Mary Gay Scanlon, Mike Doyle, Mike Levin, Mike Quigley, Mike Thompson, Mikie Sherril, Mondaire Jones, Nanette Diaz Barragan, Paul D. Tonko, Peter A. DeFazio, Peter Welch, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Raul Grijalva, Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Sean Casten, Shontel Brown, Steve Cohen, Suzan K. DelBene, Suzanne Bonamici, Tim Ryan, Tom Suozzi, Tony Cardenas, Veronica Escobar, Yvette Clarke, and Zoe Lofgren.
Full text of the legislation is available here.