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North Coast Rep. Huffman proposes bill to clean up postal service trucks

File photo (Jason Lawrence / CC BY 2.0)
File photo (Jason Lawrence / CC BY 2.0)
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North Coast Representative Jared Huffman introduced legislation Monday that would make the U.S. postal service vehicle fleet more energy efficient.

According to Rep. Huffman, the Federal Leadership in Energy Efficient Transportation (FLEET) Act of 2019 would transform the federal fleet into a national leader in fuel efficiency and technological innovation.

The USPS owns and operates the world's largest civilian vehicle fleet, made up of more than 232,000 mail delivery vehicles. Over 141,000 of these are Grumman LLVs, which average 10 miles per gallon. These Grumman LLV trucks entered service in 1987, and the majority have reached the end of their 24-year operational lifespan, according to Rep. Huffman's office.

Fueling the USPS fleet cost $570 million in 2016 (251 million gallons), making the USPS one of the largest consumers of diesel fuel in the U.S., according to Rep. Huffman.

“Earth Day calls on us all to become better stewards of the planet, and to identify ways to protect our environment for future generations,” said Rep. Huffman. “The Postal Service is one institution with a lot of room for improvement, crippled by an inefficient, outdated fleet, with most of these vehicles reaching the end of their operational lives. The FLEET Act will help invest in a modern, efficient Postal Service fleet and transform our nation’s largest civilian fleet into a global leader in efficiency and innovation.”

Huffman’s FLEET Act of 2019 proposes to save the USPS hundreds of millions of dollars by reducing expenditures on petroleum fuel and maintenance.

Specifically, the FLEET Act:

  • Requires the USPS to reduce petroleum consumption by 2 percent every year over the next 10 years;
  • Sets minimum fuel efficiency and tailpipe emission standards for all new fleet vehicles;
  • Instructs USPS to incorporate new technologies into postal routes that increase fuel economy or reduce tailpipe emissions and use these new technologies to inform purchasing decisions;
  • Requires USPS to replace old vehicles that require costly unscheduled maintenance; and
  • Provides USPS with funding tools to help cover the cost of upgrading their fleet, such as Energy and Utility Savings Performance Contracts.
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In addition to Rep. Huffman, the FLEET Act is cosponsored by: Reps. Gerald Connolly (D-VA), James McGovern (D-MA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and Peter Welch (D-VT).

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