Postal Service to Biden: We'll pass on the electric vehicles, thanks

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Last summer, the Biden administration announced more details regarding the President’s plan to promote a massive increase in electric vehicle use in the United States, replacing internal combustion engine cars with all of their climate-wrecking carbon emissions. In December, they unveiled an ambitious plan to have charging stations in place around the country to keep the electric vehicles running. And, of course, Biden instructed all federal agencies to immediately start replacing their gas-powered vehicles with electric replacements. That was supposed to include the United States Postal Service, which operates one of the largest fleets of government vehicles in the world. Unfortunately for Uncle Joe, somebody at the USPS either didn’t get the memo or simply ignored it because this week they announced that the Postal Service is moving forward with its original plan to replace 90% of the fleet with gas-powered vehicles. (Government Executive)

The U.S. Postal Service is moving forward with its plan to replace the vast majority of its fleet with non-electric vehicles, defying the Biden administration and rejecting its request that USPS slow down its upcoming multi-billion dollar spending spree.

The mailing agency will continue on its current course to replace 90% of its fleet with internal combustion engine vehicles and just 10% with EVs, postal officials said on Wednesday. Management finalized its plan after releasing its “record of decision,” which rebutted complaints lodged earlier this month by the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality. In rejecting the Biden team’s arguments, USPS said the administration’s suggestions to further consider options and impacts would not yield better information or change the agency’s decisions.

Postal officials also stressed on Tuesday that 10% of the 165,000 vehicles it plans to buy is the minimum number of EVs it will procure, as the final total could vary based on costs coming down or Congress providing USPS with additional funds.

You may wonder how the Postal Service gets away with simply flipping the bird to Biden after he issues a decree such as this. It’s really not that much of a mystery. It’s the same as the way they managed to not impose a vaccination mandate after Biden ordered one for all federal workers and all employers with more than 100 workers. (Despite technically being federal workers and having more than half a million employees.) The USPS has a large and powerful labor union that donates a lot of money to Democratic campaigns. They do as they please and they know the Democrats won’t lift a finger to defy them.

But in this case, there’s more to the story than just that. The Post Office is in the middle of a massive, years-long overhaul of its internal structure. The entire reason they are going through all of these changes is that they continue to lose money at an alarming pace and Congress is too frightened to authorize a significant increase in postal rates. They have to find ways to cut costs. They are replacing 90% of their vehicles in the coming two years and if they switched most of those orders to electric vehicles it would nearly double the cost. That’s the opposite of what they’re trying to achieve in order to remain solvent.

Last year the USPS awarded Oshkosh Defense the contract to manufacture at least 50,000 replacement vehicles for them. The EPA sent them a letter accusing them of violating the National Environmental Policy Act. It would appear that the letter went straight into the circular file. (Or perhaps it’s stuck in the lost letter department.)

One of Biden’s EPA administrators continued wagging her finger at the Post Office, saying the decision “represents a crucial lost opportunity to be a leader in reducing the carbon footprint of one of the largest government fleets in the world.” But it appears that finger-wagging and complaining is all that the administration plans to do. The Postal Service remains unimpressed with these orders and will move forward with the original contract anyway.

EPA and CEQ brought up some new concerns, the Postal Service added, but addressing them would not move the needle.

“The additional analyses and mitigation recommendations by EPA would not produce superior information that would significantly alter the relative costs and benefits among the [final environmental impact statement’s] alternatives, when considered in the context of the requirements necessary to safely and efficiently deliver the nation’s mail,” USPS said.

That appears to be that. Who knew it was so easy to simply flip the bird at your boss and politely tell them to go pound sand while you continue to do what you’d always planned to do? Maybe more people and agencies should try that. But if so, you’d better make sure you have a really powerful labor union backing you up. And they had better turn over most of their dues money to the Democrats.