The Environmental Conundrum

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By now, it’s barely a secret that we live in what is actually a very expansive world. The enormity of it has dawned upon us time and time again, and notably enough, through different mediums. However, our strongest reality checks within this context always seem to emerge from some outright undesirable situations. You see, it’s during these situations that we realize our limitations, our incapability around covering every single yard. Fortunately, though, we have accepted the said reality. Now, while coming to such a truce is appreciable, it also means that we had to find different ways for treating certain undesirable scenarios. The world, in its bid, brought dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. With assigned watchdogs supervising our action in the public domain, we were finally able to establish a healthier framework across the board, but we can’t say there were no challenges whatsoever. In fact, as creations like technology entered the picture, the regulators’ priority list saw a purpose-altering shakeup. Suddenly, we were expecting something totally unique out of these regulatory bodies, therefore spelling major unrest. Nevertheless, the regulators are now seemingly ready to deliver a much-awaited response, and that was backed up well by some recent events.

According to the Washington Post, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and White House Council on Environmental Quality has formally urged United States Postal Service (USPS) to reconsider plans about spending billions on a new fleet of gas-powered delivery trucks. The request comes after USPS announced a deal with Oshkosh last year that would fetch it both gasoline and electric drivetrains for a reported sum of $11.3 billion. Even though the deal looks routine on the surface, EPA and White House Council’s letters to the postal service do point out a glaring flipside. In their letters, the two divisions fixate on how the deal can end up having serious environmental consequences by keeping electric vehicle’s share in the department’s total fleet to just 10%.

“The Postal Service’s proposal as currently crafted represents a crucial lost opportunity to more rapidly reduce the carbon footprint of one of the largest government fleets in the world,” wrote the EPA’s associate administrator for policy, Vicki Arroyo.

When questioned regarding the decision, Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy cited financial issues as the main reason behind it. Reported to be over $206.4 million in debt, USPS cannot really afford to add electric vehicles at the moment. With the current national structure also requiring the service to work in a self-sustainable manner, there is no viable way for USPS to address all fronts.

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