Overnight Energy & Environment

Energy & Environment — USPS to purchase all-electric fleet starting 2026 

US Postal Service truck
Hill Illustration, Madeline Monroe / AP Photo, Matt Rourke

📫 The U.S. Postal Service is looking to buy all-electric vehicles starting in 2026.

Meanwhile, the EPA is finalizing tougher pollution standards for trucks, and Congress has released a bill to fund the government for 2023.  

This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Someone forward you this newsletter? Sign up here or in the box below.

Postal Service to only buy EVs beginning 2026 

New US Postal Service vehicles will be 100 percent electric beginning in 2026, the agency announced Tuesday, months after controversy erupted over the initial majority-gas-powered order. 

The Postal Service’s order of “next generation” vehicles will comprise 60,000 new cars and trucks, 45,000 of them electrified. 

Officials also said USPS intends to buy 21,000 additional electric vehicles from commercial automakers.   

The background:  

  • Earlier this year, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced the new U.S. fleet would only be 10 percent electric. While the USPS left the door open to increasing the percentage of electric trucks, DeJoy claimed at the time the service lacked the funds to electrify at a larger scale. 
  • Climate advocates took umbrage at the announcement, accusing DeJoy, a longtime Republican donor appointed during the Trump administration, of deliberately undermining the Biden administration’s emission-reduction goals. 
  • USPS maintains the single largest federal vehicle fleet, and a majority gas-powered fleet would have significantly hindered the Biden administration’s target of net-zero-emissions federal government operations by 2050.  
  • USPS emphasized the possibility of an additional electric order from the beginning, and signaled the percentage would increase over the summer. In the Tuesday announcement, meanwhile, the service attributed the upgrade in part to $3 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Read more about the announcement here.  

Feds finalizes rule cutting truck pollution

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced it had finalized a rule that’s expected to cut a significant amount of harmful pollution from heavy-duty trucks, though environmental groups say the administration should be doing even more.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had finalized a rule that restricts the release of a group of pollutants known as nitrogen oxides.  

Short-term exposure to these pollutants can worsen respiratory health conditions like asthma, while long-term exposure can contribute to the development of asthma and respiratory infections. 

The EPA said Tuesday that its final rule is expected to result in up to 2,900 fewer premature deaths by 2045. It’s also expected to result in 18,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma.  

  • While the move — the first update in 20 years to nitrogen oxide rules — is expected to have major benefits, environmentalists said the agency did not go far enough.  
  • Yasmine Agelidis, an attorney on Earthjustice’s Right to Zero campaign, told The Hill in a written statement that the EPA’s rule “misses the moment, and is expected to merely follow the market changes.” 
  • Britt Carmon, a senior advocate for federal clean vehicles and fuels at the Natural Resources Defense Council, similarly called for an explicit mandate for electric vehicles.  

Also not as stringent as an earlier proposal: 

  • The rule is weaker than a standard the agency was considering  earlier this year, which would have cut this type of pollution from trucks by as much as
    60 percent in 2045.  
  • Under the final rule, these emissions are expected to be nearly 50 percent lower than they would be if the agency didn’t make any changes.  

The rule also differed from what the agency proposed earlier this year because it left out a portion of the rule that would have restricted the emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from these kinds of vehicles. 

The EPA is expected to propose a separate climate rule by the end of March 2023.

Annual costs to comply with the rule are expected to range between $3.9 billion in 2027 to $4.7 billion in 2045, the agency estimated.  

Jed Mandel, president of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, said in a written statement that the rule” is very stringent and will be challenging to implement.” 

Read more about the new rule here.  


Senators released legislation aimed at funding the government. Here’s what you need to know: 

Some top lines: 

  • More than $10 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency — a $576 million increase over 2022. 
  • About $15 billion for the Interior Department –  $583.8 million increase over 2022 
  • Around $47 billion for the Energy Department (About $31 billion defense and $16 billion non-defense)  
  • Nearly $41 billion to “assist communities across the country recovering from drought, hurricanes, flooding, wildfire, natural disasters and other matters,” said a statement from Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). 


Industrial giant 3M will stop manufacturing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and discontinue the use of these so-called forever chemicals by the end of 2025, the company announced Tuesday. 

By that deadline, 3M pledged to stop producing all fluoropolymers and fluorinated fluids — types of PFAS products, typically used as coatings that resist grease or water — as well as PFAS-based additive items. 

The company also said it would strive to end the use of PFAS across its product portfolio by that same date, adding that significant steps to decrease the use of these substances have already occurred over the past three years.  

Known for their propensity to linger in the human body and in water and land resources, PFAS are a class of thousands of compounds that don’t occur naturally in the environment. Exposure to PFAS has been linked to a long list of illnesses, including testicular cancer, thyroid disease and kidney cancer. 

Read more here, from The Hill’s Sharon Udasin.  


  • Inside Big Plastic’s Faltering $1.5 Billion Global Cleanup Effort (Bloomberg
  • This little-known bottleneck is blocking clean energy for millions (The Washington Post
    Boston Is Losing Its Snow Wicked Fast (The Atlantic
  • Watching the death and rebirth of the Colorado River in Mexico (Deseret News
  • One Farmer Set Off a Solar Energy Boom in Rural Minnesota; 10 Years Later, Here’s How It Worked Out (Inside Climate News


That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.  

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