WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden Delivers Electric Mail Trucks, Clean Air, and Lower Costs
This week, President Biden delivered four major wins to advance our nation’s climate, environmental justice, and conservation goals while lowering energy costs for Americans.
Using funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. Postal Service announced an historic $9.6 billion investment to put 66,000 electric delivery trucks on the roads over the next five years and acquire only electric Next Generation Delivery Vehicles starting in 2026.
In another win for clean air, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the strongest-ever standards to cut smog- and soot-forming emissions from heavy-duty trucks. EPA estimates that the new standards will result in 18,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma and 1.1 fewer lost school days by 2045.
The Department of Energy also proposed stronger efficiency standards for light bulbs to conserve energy and cut energy bills. With this announcement, the Administration has now taken more than 110 actions this year to strengthen energy efficiency standards and save the average family at least $100 annually.
The Administration also secured a major international win for conservation and biodiversity, with countries across the globe reaching a historic agreement to collectively commit to conserving at least 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030, a goal that President Biden committed the U.S. to during his first days in office.
Leaders from across the country praised the announcements. Here’s what they’re saying:
Delaware Senator Tom Carper, Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: “Nearly two years ago, USPS announced that just 10 percent of their new delivery fleet would be electric vehicles. In the time since that announcement, I have repeatedly called for the Postal Service to do more with the opportunity in front of them. By transitioning our aging fleet to electrified vehicles, we can reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayer dollars in the long run. There is a clear reason why so many private competitors are electrifying their fleets—it is good for business and is the smart choice for the future.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey: “If we want to spark a clean energy revolution across America, we have to start by swapping out the spark plugs in our federal fleets. Today’s announcement from USPS is a victory for all of us who have driven the effort to supercharge the electrification of our mail delivery vehicles so that we can save money and save the planet. Electrification of the Postal Service kicks our progress toward meeting our climate goals into high gear—reducing greenhouse gas emissions, keeping our communities healthy, and investing in American clean energy manufacturing.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich: “I’m pleased that the U.S. Postal Service has listened to our calls to substantially increase their efforts to electrify the next generation of mail delivery vehicles. With funding that Democrats delivered in the historic Inflation Reduction Act and a commitment from the Biden administration, the next generation of mail delivery vehicles in America will now be 75% battery electric vehicles, and 100% electric starting in 2026. Electrifying the transportation sector is among our greatest opportunities to tackle the climate crisis, clean up the air in our neighborhoods, provide a responsible return on taxpayer dollars, and send a powerful signal that the United States is leading in the transition toward a clean, efficient, and electric future.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Chairwoman, U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform: “As Chair of the Oversight Committee, electrifying the Postal Service fleet has been one of my top priorities. I am proud that the Postal Service made this important decision after my many discussions with the Postmaster General about the importance of adopting an all-electric fleet. This is a win for the Postal Service, the climate, and the American people. This acquisition is also a testament to President Biden’s efforts to combat climate change and create a world in which future generations can thrive in. I applaud the Postal Service for this decision, and I look forward to the steps Congress and the Administration will continue to take to protect our planet.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren: “Mail trucks will soon help combat climate change across America! Electrifying the @USPS fleet will replace old trucks and reduce emissions. And it’s funded by my plan to make billionaire corporations pay a minimum 15% of their profits in taxes. A win-win.” [Tweet, 12/20/22]
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “Great to see @EPA take action to reduce air pollution from trucks, vans, and other heavy-duty vehicles!” [Tweet, 12/21/22]
Brian Renfroe, President, National Association of Letter Carriers: “NALC is pleased that the Postal Service is leading the way in electrifying the federal vehicle fleet. With these delivery vehicles, letter carriers will deliver in much-needed safer and more reliable vehicles, while the Postal Service lowers its carbon footprint.”[Statement, 12/20/22]
Sara Chieffo, Vice President of Government Affairs, League of Conservation Voters: “Thanks to the hard work of the Biden-Harris administration and funding from the historic Inflation Reduction Act, we’re thrilled that the U.S. Postal Service is finally delivering clean energy, just in time for the holidays. With more electric mail trucks on the streets and charging stations at post offices across the country, this investment will mean cleaner air for our children and families, major progress toward our climate goals, and a clear example of clean energy benefits for the nation and the world. We’re encouraged by this quick and effective use of Inflation Reduction Act funds and look forward to continued work with the Biden-Harris administration to ensure the landmark climate law is implemented boldly, swiftly, and equitably.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Adrian Martinez, Senior Attorney, Right to Zero Campaign, Earthjustice: “Every neighborhood, every household in America deserves to have electric USPS trucks delivering clean air with their mail, and today’s announcement takes us almost all the way there. The Postal Service’s shift to only purchasing electric mail trucks within five years is the marker of a sea change in the federal fleet as the country looks to an electric future. We’re grateful to the Biden Administration for stepping in to put us on course for an electric future.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Beto Martinez, CleanAirNow: “We’re pleased the Postal Service has listened to community and environmental justice organizations clamoring for zero emission mail trucks. We look forward to working with USPS to ensure communities hardest hit by pollution get these trucks on their streets first.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund: “Clean post office delivery trucks are coming soon, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. The immediate purchase order for 60,000 electric vehicles will save money for the Postal Service while reducing deadly diesel pollution in our neighborhoods. The fact that 100% of new delivery trucks will be electric vehicles starting in 2026 shows we can clean up unhealthy air pollution and save money on fuel. This decision is in keeping with the Biden administration’s whole-of-government approach to cutting climate pollution. It uses the purchasing power of the American People to spur innovation, create jobs, and save consumers money. Private sector companies, including Amazon and Pepsi, have already announced moves to zero emissions electric vehicles because they know it is the best choice for their business. EDF has strongly advocated for increased clean vehicles adoption by the Postal Service to kick that transition into high gear. This announcement comes just hours after EPA announced its Clean Trucks Plan, which includes a commitment to issue proposed standards in March of next year that will help accelerate zero-emission truck deployment relying on game changing investments in the new climate law. Once again, President Biden’s leadership is showing real results for the American people and our climate.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Mark Dimondstein, President, American Postal Workers Union: “The APWU welcomes this excellent news. It is good for the environment, good for future postal revenues, good for postal workers and it is a huge step forward from the original management plans for an only 10% EV fleet. This is progress, for the people, the planet and the Postal Service.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Joe Britton, Executive Director, Zero Emission Transportation Association: “This is an extraordinary step by USPS and the Biden Administration to advance the electrification of the federal fleet. USPS has the largest fleet in the federal government and reaches across our nation with some of the most recognizable vehicles on the road. Postal routes are predictable and include ample charging time to meet the fleet’s power needs. Transitioning these older, inefficient vehicles to EVs will not only serve as a visual reminder of their value and reliability but will also provide public health, environmental, and economic benefits to our communities.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Ben Prochazka, Executive Director, Electrification Coalition: “The Biden-Harris administration has taken historic steps to transportation electrification, including passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act earlier this year. This move further signals that electricity will power not only the next generation of passenger vehicles but also medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Americans can look forward to receiving their daily mail from cleaner, quieter, and more efficient vehicles.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO, American Lung Association: “EPA’s new final rule to limit truck pollution is an important step to clean up emissions, especially for Americans who live near a highway, truck stop, port or distribution center. This new rule will significantly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions for new heavy-duty vehicles and prevent up to 2,900 premature deaths a year. The Lung Association and the health community have long called for EPA to finalize strong standards to reduce nitrogen oxides from heavy-duty vehicles, and then to write future rules to drive a nationwide transition to zero-emission trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles. Today’s final rule is a step forward to curb dangerous pollution.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Vickie Patton, General Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund: “EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan helps give America’s children the gift of cleaner air and healthier lives. EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan includes a series of vitally important steps to help ensure cleaner air and a safer climate for millions of people, save truckers and fleets money, and create more American jobs. The plan announced today includes long-awaited final emissions standards for nitrogen oxides pollution that will significantly reduce this deadly pollutant and ultimately save thousands of lives and prevent numerous serious illnesses every year.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Rachel Patterson, Policy Lead, Evergreen Action: “EPA’s announcement today is crucial to protecting Americans’ public health—especially low-income and Black and Brown communities that are suffering first-hand from the toxic impacts of air pollution from trucks. The updates to EPA’s heavy-duty truck rule, aimed at reducing nitrogen oxides, and other soot- and smog-forming pollution is integral in the fight to protect both people and the planet.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
João Faria, President, Eaton’s Vehicle Group: “We applaud the EPA’s work in establishing new standards for harmful truck emissions. The final rule announced today provides the regulatory certainty needed to deploy the next generation of fuel-efficient and emission-reduction technologies.” [Statement, 12/20/22]
Environmental Defense Fund: “EPA announced stronger standards to reduce air pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and help ensure a safer climate for millions. The new Clean Trucks Plan will cut NOx, a deadly pollutant, from freight trucks and buses by almost 50% by 2045.” [Tweet, 12/20/22]
Defend Our Future: “Today, we joined @CleanAirMoms as @EPA finalized important federal protections against nitrogen oxide (NOx) from trucks & buses. This is a big win for public health! Thank you @EPAMichaelRegan and @SenatorCarper for all your hard work.” [Tweet, 12/20/22]
Moms Clean Air Force: “Thank you @EPAMichaelRegan and @SenatorCarper for today’s event!Today, @EPA released its final #CleanerTRucks rule. The rule will cut harmful pollution from heavy-duty vehicles like diesel-powered trucks & buses and is an important step in cleaning up the air our kids breathe.” [Tweet, 12/20/22]
American Thoracic: “Thank you @EPA for taking action to reduce dangerous nitrogen oxide #emissions from trucks. Continued aggressive action is needed to secure a future of pollution-free air.” [Tweet, 12/20/22]
Andrew deLaski, Executive Director, Appliance Standards Awareness Project: “The LEDs on today’s store shelves are a great product, but it turns out the best technology can make the bulbs even more efficient. We use so many light bulbs that this improvement would meaningfully reduce energy costs for households and businesses while cutting climate pollution from power plants. This plan would also mark the end of an era for compact fluorescent bulbs, which are still sold in some stores today but are inferior to LEDs.” [Statement, 12/19/22]
Brian O’Donnell, Director of the Campaign for Nature: “This is a huge moment for nature. This is a scale of conservation that we haven’t seen ever attempted before.” [Statement, 12/19/22]
Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Foundation-U.S.: “The last two weeks in Montreal placed nature at the forefront of global policy discussions. The agreement struck today among the participating 196 countries could mark a turning point in mending our broken relationship with nature. It includes a new funding mechanism for helping the developing world reach its goals, and it also commits parties to delivering against the 30 by 30 vision that puts Indigenous peoples and local communities at the center of that work. Now the hard work begins. Ultimately this agreement will be judged on the strength of its implementation. It’s up to governments, businesses, and other actors to turn its goals into concrete outcomes, and to build on their ambition where needed. In the US, we take heart that – though our country is not a party to the underlying convention – the Biden Administration has already embraced many of the principles of the agreement. We at WWF-US look forward to working with the US government, companies, and other partners to make sure the US does its part toward achieving a nature positive future.” [Statement, 12/19/22]
Andrew Deutz, Director of Global Policy, Institutions and Conservation Finance at The Nature Conservancy: “Make no mistake: this is an historic result for nature. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework provides a long-needed international blueprint to guide our collective turnaround of nature’s fortunes within this crucial decade.” [Statement, 12/18/22]