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Electrify the Postal Service

Delivery to United States Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

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What’s At Stake

After more than a year of relentless activism from Earthjustice supporters, the Postal Service committed to electrify most of its new fleet, and will buy only electric mail trucks after 2026. The degree to which activists like you moved the needle on this issue cannot be overstated. Fifteen months ago, the Postal Service only planned to electrify 10% of its new trucks. Between then and now, Earthjustice supporters sent 162,000 letters calling for electrification, pushed Congress to appropriate $3 billion for new electric trucks, and ultimately compelled the Postal Service to meet the moment. However, there's still work to be done.

Despite the welcome news, there’s still a lot of work that remains ahead of us. First, the Postal Service’s announcement last month is just that — an announcement. The legal process to finalize the decision will take place in the spring through the late summer. We’ll follow up with you then to make sure your voice is heard in that comment period.

Second, the Postal Service is still purchasing some gas-guzzling trucks, particularly what are known as “commercial off-the-shelf trucks” (COTs), which are vehicles that aren’t specifically designed to be mail trucks. As planned, half of its COTs purchases will be gas-guzzlers — unless we get involved. Like we did with the rest of the new trucks, we’re going to push hard to electrify as many COTs as possible.

In the coming decade, electric trucks will finally relieve the old, gas-guzzling trucks of their mail routes. When your mail carrier drives an electric truck down your street, you should take pride in the fact that you made that happen — you took a niche, longshot campaign and made it a national priority, and everyone will breathe cleaner air because of it. This is what we can accomplish when we work together and advocate for what we believe in.

Let’s enjoy this victory and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. Join us in thanking the Postal Service for listening to the public and call on it to do more.

Postal Service mail vehicles sit in a parking lot
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Postal Service mail vehicles sit in a parking lot at a mail distribution center on February 18, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

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.