We've been reporting about the US Postal Service ever since it announced its upcoming changes and showed off the interesting new delivery truck from Oshkosh Defense. Sadly, despite goals to comply with environmental regulations, the postal service's upcoming generation of delivery vehicles will be primarily gas-powered, which is rubbing many folks the wrong way.
There has been an ongoing battle between the US Postal Service, President Biden, politicians, environmental groups, and now, the United Auto Workers (UAW). According to a recent report published by Automotive News, the UAW and US environmental groups have filed lawsuits to try to block the US Postal Service from following through with the excessive purchase of gas-powered delivery trucks.
Prior to the lawsuit filings, The White House and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pushed for the postal service to reconsider its future efforts. However, while leaders and spokespeople from the post office have tried to make it seem as though there was an effort to comply, that doesn't appear to be what's actually happening.
Automotive News explains that groups, such as the Sierra Club, CleanAirNow, and Center for Biological Diversity are making plans to go to bat against the US Postal Service in San Francisco's District Court. Meanwhile, the UAW, as well as the Natural Resources Defense Council, has already filed a lawsuit that's along similar lines.
The USPS announced last February that it entered into an initial agreement with Oshkosh to order as many as 165,000 new delivery vehicles over the next 10 years. The deal is worth a reported $6 billion.
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The postal service claims it placed an order in March for 50,000 "next-generation" vehicles from Oshkosh to the tune of nearly $3 billion. It also says it doubled the number of EVs purchased. Initially, the USPS planned to order 5,000 EVs, but it ordered 10,019. It claims that it will meet its obligations to environmental regulations.
However, the lawsuits suggest that the USPS' contract was put together based on an "unlawfully deficient environmental analysis," per Automotive News. The UAW is also arguing that the USPS and Oshkosh are planning to produce vehicles in a non-union factory with non-union employees.