WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), founder and co-chair of the Electrification Caucus, joined a group of Democratic Senators in a letter urging the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to use Inflation Reduction Act funding to increase vehicle electrification commitments and support workers.
In a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the USPS Board of Governors Chair Roman Martinez, the senators call for USPS to dramatically increase mail delivery fleet electrification efforts, including the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV), an effort that would improve service on some 177,000 routes across the country. USPS estimates that the adoption of a fully electric NGDV fleet would roughly triple reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a fleet that is only 10 percent electric.
USPS received an additional $3 billion in funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to invest in battery electric vehicles (BEV) and supporting infrastructure. The lawmakers urge USPS to make a commitment to increase its fleet electrification commitment to 95 percent from 40 percent, leveraging the additional funding provided through the Inflation Reduction Act to not simply meet its previous commitment, but rather to make further progress towards a more ambitious benchmark. In the letter, the lawmakers also push USPS to ensure the manufacturing workers producing the mail delivery vehicles have an opportunity to collectively bargain and join a union.
“We urge USPS to use the $3 billion in new funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to further increase its vehicle electrification efforts and not merely spend the money on the 40-percent BEV commitment it had already made and had the resources to achieve,” wrote the lawmakers. “With Inflation Reduction Act funding, USPS should aim higher and strive for at least a 95-percent electric mail delivery fleet that will reduce dangerous greenhouse-gas emissions, help usher in an era of ubiquitous clean car technology, and protect and create high quality union jobs in the domestic EV supply chain by insisting that the workforce producing the fleet affords workers the opportunity to collectively bargain.”
The letter, led by U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), was also signed by U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
Read the full text of the letter here.
This letter is the most recent action from Sen. Heinrich in his push for USPS to increase fleet electrification efforts. In February 2022, Senators Heinrich and Markey led a letter calling for DeJoy and Martinez to abandon procuring a gasoline-powered delivery fleet for its NGDV.