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Electrify the Postal Service

Delivery to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors

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What’s At Stake

The Postal Service is currently in the process of replacing its outdated mail trucks. We were optimistic the Postal Service would listen to us about the benefits of an electric fleet — cleaner air, lower emissions, and healthier communities — but it doubled down on its inexplicable preference for polluting trucks in the recently published Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Postal Service’s misguided decision is going to cost all of us — and it’s time we hold them accountable.

We’re not alone in our confusion and frustration with the agency’s insistence to move as slowly as possible towards progress. The Environmental Protection Agency had this to say about it: “While the Postal Service identified a clear need to update the existing Postal Fleet with more energy efficient vehicles, we do not believe a proper analysis was conducted that would support the Postal Service’s preferred alternative.” In other words, the evidence does not support the Postal Service’s selection of polluting trucks that have little to no fuel efficiency gains from the trucks the agency purchased in the 1990s.

Rather than addressing that criticism, the Postal Service brushed it aside and moved on. It’s now clear that we must hold the Postal Service accountable for its harmful, low-quality work. On such an important issue, we cannot let faulty analysis lead us to an outcome that threatens our future. Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the United States, and air pollution from fossil fuel vehicles harms people’s health, especially in low-income communities and communities of color where government policies have deliberately concentrated transportation pollution. By upgrading to electric vehicles, the Postal Service can cut dangerous air pollution across the country and help put us on a path to an all-electric future.

The Postal Service’s bad analysis is now actionable, which means it could start ordering gas-powered trucks soon, barring intervention by the Governing Board of the Postal Service. Time is not on our side, and we simply cannot afford to miss this opportunity to make sure one of the world’s largest civilian fleets is all-electric. Join us in calling on the Postal Service to reassess its replacement plans and work towards a zero-emissions future.

Brian Brown / Getty Images

USPS mail trucks make up more than 30% of the federal government’s vehicles.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.