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Why This Matters: There is no more basic government service than mail delivery. And it is affordable and available to every American. But President Trump and some other conservatives want to privatize the Post Office and are seizing on this opportunity to try to get it done by setting highly prescriptive loan terms or by essentially forcing it into bankruptcy, which would benefit its private-sector competitors like FedEx and UPS. In the midst of this crisis, we need the USPS more than ever. And any efforts to change the agency ought to be along the lines of modernizing its fleet, not cutting back services or raising prices. Modernizing seems like an obvious solution.
What Happened to the Post Office?
The USPS has been in a crisis for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has only put further strain on the agency. But chronic lack of funding becomes apparent just looking at mail trucks – who can remember the earlier model? The USPS bought their trucks for their “long lives” (they are known as Long Life Vehicles or LLVs) but some of these trucks are around 26 years old! According to Vox, they also lack more modern features in vehicles, such as anti-lock brakes and air conditioning, and they only get 10 miles to a gallon and are unsafe.
The USPS was already planning to update its fleet of trucks this year, but due to COVID and its financial strains that could be in jeopardy. The solution to many of the agency’s problems would be to transition into electrifying their fleet. Some benefits include:
To fuel electric cars cost less than half of what it costs for gasoline cars, while also still traveling the same distance. (This is great news for rural America, which would suffer the most without the USPS).
The stop-and-go motions of being a postal driver would be better handled by electric cars, which harvest energy through regenerative braking.
It’s annual meeting season, and corporations are increasingly on the defensive about their carbon footprint, climate change policies, and other social issues. Most of the time, corporate leaders manage to fend off such resolutions. But this year, DuPont lost big on a shareholder proposal, filed by a group called As You Sow, that received 81.2 […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Single-use plastics are being taxed and phased out across the country, but what do we do about the single-use items we can’t avoid? This is the conundrum facing the country as the vaccine rollout continues and accelerates. With over 230 million doses administered before President Biden’s 100th day in office, millions of plastic syringes […]
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