The USPS Underestimated the Benefit of Going Electric, Study Shows

A peer-reviewed study offers yet more evidence the USPS conducted one of the shoddiest environmental reviews of all time.

By Aaron Gordon

The United States Postal Service dramatically underestimated the benefits of an electric delivery fleet in its environmental review when it agreed to purchase nearly all gas-powered trucks, a peer-reviewed study by University of Michigan researchers found. The lead author of the study, Maxwell Moody, called the USPS’s environmental review “significantly flawed” in a press release, adding yet another layer of criticism to the USPS’s handling of its new delivery fleet procurement.

Back in February 2021, the USPS awarded a multi-billion dollar contract to Oshkosh, a firm that mostly builds big, honking gas vehicles for the Department of Defense, to replace up to 165,000 of the Postal Service’s delivery fleet which is rapidly aging and routinely catching on fire. At first, the USPS said there would be both an electric and a gas version of the truck but not how many of each. Shortly thereafter, it said the order would be 90 percent gas and 10 percent electric, even though the Biden administration said it wanted the government’s vehicle fleet to go electric. The USPS didn’t have to abide by this executive order because since 1970 it is an independent agency of the executive branch rather than a fully-fledged portion of the federal government. The USPS’s decision to largely stick with gas trucks enraged environmental groups, many Democrats, and generally flummoxed anyone who knows anything about electric cars because the USPS is an ideal use case for electric vehicles (EVs). But, for a while, nobody could do anything about it due to the USPS’s independence within the executive branch. 

That dynamic changed in February when the USPS released its legally-mandated environmental review of the delivery fleet purchase, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. That law doesn’t require the USPS to do anything other than to comprehensively and accurately disclose the environmental impact of its purchase while considering plausible alternatives. In theory, the USPS could have conducted a very thorough analysis showing it was poisoning the planet and spending more money to do it and nobody could have stopped them.

But critics of the USPS’s decision were hotly anticipating this environmental review. If they were correct that the USPS was making a terrible decision for both the environment and its own finances—as detailed in a thorough study by Atlas Public Policy, a non-profit research group—then an honest accounting in the environmental review would lay it all out and at the very least embarrass the USPS and prove Louis DeJoy was acting as a poor steward for the agency’s future. In other words, the USPS would have to admit in writing that it knows it’s making a bad decision but plans on doing it anyways.

Instead, the USPS chose a different approach: Fudge the numbers to make it look like a better decision than it is. One way it did so was to list the vehicle’s curb weight as one pound heavier than a critical regulatory threshold that allowed the trucks to emit more than they otherwise could. Another way it did so was to assume the price of gas would stay below $2.55 per gallon through 2040, despite gas being more expensive than that for much of the last 20 years. A third way it did so was to only study scenarios it considered infeasible, like buying 100 percent electric vehicles, so it could dismiss them regardless of what the results of the environmental assessment would be. Meanwhile, it didn’t study sensible middle ground scenarios like buying, say, 50 or 75 percent electric trucks.

All of these issues were immediately obvious to anyone who read the environmental impact statement, including the Environmental Protection Agency administrator who sent the USPS a strongly worded letter claiming that the environmental impact study done by USPS was “seriously deficient.” Two months later, attorneys general from 16 states and five environmental groups sued the USPSon the grounds that it violated NEPA with its shoddy environmental review.

Which brings us to the University of Michigan study that confirms the environmental review was indeed shoddy. The study looked specifically at emissions estimates for the gas and electric versions of the trucks, including the so-called “cradle to grave” analysis that includes the entire vehicle life cycle, something the USPS opted not to do. Overall, they found the USPS underestimated the emissions of gas trucks and overestimated the emissions of electric trucks, making the electric trucks seem worse than they would be and the gas ones seem better. 

Even after accounting for the increased emissions for the battery manufacturing, electric trucks would result in fewer emissions than gas trucks. The study found this for every scenario it tested, including one in which the grid efficiency continues on its current trajectory even though most experts believe it will get much more efficient over time.

Not only that, but the study found the USPS drastically underestimated the benefits of electric trucks. Under the “business as usual” scenario where grid efficiency continues on its current path, the USPS understated the benefits of EVs by 32 percent. If the grid gets decarbonized by 2050, then the USPS underestimated the benefits of EVs by 44 percent, because the cleaner the grid is, the lower the emissions of EVs when they charge. 

The researchers also found discrepancies within the USPS review. For example, the USPS estimated a shockingly low estimate of 323 grams of CO2 equivalent per mile driven in the new gas trucks—equivalent to a MINI Cooper convertible or a Mazda 3 sedan despite weighing about twice as much—a figure the study says “cannot be reconciled” with a stated fuel economy estimate of 8.6 miles/gallon. When the authors calculated expected CO2 emissions on their own based on the combustion intensity of gasoline, they estimated an emission rate about three times higher than the USPS’s estimate. 

As it happens, the USPS has since upped its electric truck order to 40 percent of the total order, a scenario that was apparently never considered feasible and therefore not studied by the USPS in its environmental review.

The New USPS Trucks Would Probably Be Illegal If They Weighed One Pound Less

The Not-So-Hidden Reason For Republicans’ Student Loan Anger

Student loan forgiveness was supposed to be a good thing. It would end debt for millions and help families drowning under massive payments. So why are some Republicans so mad?

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Are you wondering why many Republicans are upset that President Joe Biden just canceled up to $20,000 in student loan debt for those who desperately need it? Well, you might be forgetting one of the major tenets of white supremacy. Let’s take a walk.

You see, before Trump, Republicans were considered the camp of the conservative Christian. Many still had their racist beliefs, but they were shrouded in policy and toned-down hate speech. Those who openly held such prejudiced racial views were considered outliers to the upstanding fiscally responsible right.

But there came a time when everything changed, and the party of “less federal government involvement” became the party of “big racism.” Veteran GOP strategist Stuart Stevens believes the tipping point was in 2015, “when Trump, then the leading Republican presidential candidate, called for a ban on Muslim travelers to the United States,” according to a 2020 interview with Mother Jones.

Stevens noted that if the Republican Party didn’t want to be associated with this racist, xenophobic, style of governing then, Reince Priebus, the then-chair of the Republican National Committee, “should have declared that the GOP did not support such bigotry and staked out a moral position.” Sure, Trump may have still won the election, but the GOP would’ve been on record as shunning this type of rhetoric. Instead, the party towed the line and kept its mouth shut. 

Stevens argues that if the intrinsic, core values of the Republican Party weren’t racist, then how could they succumb so quickly to the racist values of Trump in just three or four years? What was once a taboo position to hold in the Grand Ole Party had now become the way.

I know what you’re thinking: What does any of this have to do with student loan forgiveness?

Well, one of the tenets of racism is that the white race ― simply based on skin color alone ― is the dominant race. Conveniently tied into racism is the idea of white supremacy, which also argues that the white race is the dominant race because of its fairer skin tone. 

Yes, that was the early definition when things were simpler, and Black people didn’t want crazy stuff, like their freedom and voting rights and access to any water fountain they wished. White supremacy has evolved, though. It has morphed into two factions: One is systemic racism, where the system does the dirty work and becomes both the hand and the whip. The other is white tears. White tears are the hot, angst-filled, eye sweat of racists who can’t believe that poor people are being helped. White supremacy hates poor people. It loathes them. Just look at Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. He’s one of the richest members of Congress with a net worth of $34 million, and that’s not counting the coins of his wife, economist Elaine Chao, who served on Trump’s cabinet. McConnell’s home state continuously shows up on the poorest states in America list. It ranked 6th this year.

Never forget that McConnell, along with the rest of his Senate Republicans, refused to vote for the American Rescue Plan, which, he often called, “widly out of proportion” despite the immediate relief to his constituents. Also, voting against the plan didn’t stop McConnell from bragging about the huge boon Kentuckians would receive. 

“Not a single member of my party voted for it,” McConnell noted at an event in his home state, according to The Washington Post. “I didn’t vote for it. But you’re going to get a lot more money. Cities and counties in Kentucky are getting close to seven or $800 million. If you add up the total amount that’ll come into our state ― $4 billion ― that’s twice what we sent in last year.”

It would seem to anyone with a compass and a dictionary that maybe Mitch McConnell isn’t the answer to Kentucky’s poverty problem. He’s rich, while his constituents are poor, and more importantly, he’s fine with that, and shockingly so are Kentuckians. McConnell has spent every year in Congress since he was first voted in….in…wait for it…1984! And, unless he stops running for office, he will probably be there until he retires. 

Here’s why, and yes, it’s the same reason that many Republicans are upset with student loan forgiveness: The other side of white dominance is cruelty. There is a collective camaraderie from those on the right in the suffering of those on the other side. For those Republicans who’ve been complaining, they understand the objective isn’t just to win, it’s to ensure that all other races lose. And I’m not talking running up the score, I’m talking slamming the ball on the 50-yard line and dancing. I’m talking about berating the cheerleaders and spray painting “Loser” on the team’s bus. It’s why Reps. Majorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (Fla.) couldn’t see the hypocrisy in the white tears they shed after learning that people who make less than $75,000 a year were going to receive some financial relief. Thankfully, the White House Twitter account was happy to call them out with several “this you?” tweets.

We mustn’t underestimate that a good portion of the white tears shed after Biden’s historic announcement also came from the jealousy of not being given another tax break. Because Republicans actually love welfare ― as long as it favors them. They enjoyed four years of handouts under Trump and never complained. Hell, why would they? They were winning. 

“I don’t hear any of these Republicans squawking when we give massive tax breaks to billionaires,” Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), told George Stephanopoulos, on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning program.

“Suddenly when we do something for working people, it is a terrible idea,” he said.

But let’s not forget that two things can be true at the same time. Yes, Republicans are upset because America’s poor got a break that they didn’t, and yes, this is totally a political move, and I’m not mad at it. I’ve been waiting for a more aggressive and petty Democratic Party to emerge after four years of Republican domination, and I can’t lie, I like what I’m seeing. There is no playbook as to how to govern, and Republicans took off the white gloves of civility ages ago. It’s time that the Democratic Party stop fighting for the undecided moderate who doesn’t exist, and play to their base. It’s long been time for Democrats to abandon decorum and get into the mud with the rest of America. It’s time for the White House Twitter account to call out the hypocrisy of those who can’t stop whining about what they didn’t win. If this is the direction of the Democratic Party, throwing a possible $20,000 off the insurmountable monster that is student debt and Twitter-checking all of those who received Paycheck Protection Program loans and had them forgiven, then I’m here for it. 

I think some of those people who are perplexed by the response of those who want student loan borrowers to struggle under the unforgiving weight of tremendous debt forget that one of the intrinsic tenets of white supremacy is that the other must suffer. It’s not so much that they win, it’s also that you lose. It’s why a majority of white voters voted against their own self-interest to elect Donald Trump. It’s why white women who have had abortions don’t want other women to have access to them. It’s why Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis is so popular ― he’s the wielder of the uneven wand. 

Never forget that white tears are not the authentic cries from someone in pain, they are the incensed weeping of those who believe that they aren’t just supposed to win ― they are destined to. And it pains them to know that someone other than themselves might be receiving help.

Climate Disinformation Leaves Lasting Mark as World Heats Up.

Climate disinformation leaves lasting mark as world heats

By DAVID KLEPPERJuly 27, 2022

In 1998, as nations around the world agreed to cut carbon emissions through the Kyoto Protocol, America’s fossil fuel companies plotted their response, including an aggressive strategy to inject doubt into the public debate.

“Victory,” according to the American Petroleum Institute’s memo, “will be achieved when average citizens ‘understand’ (recognize) uncertainties in climate science… Unless ‘climate change’ becomes a non-issue… there may be no moment when we can declare victory.”

The memo, later leaked to The New York Times that year, went on to outline how fossil fuel companies could manipulate journalists and the broader public by muddying the evidence, by playing up “both sides” of the debate and by portraying those seeking to reduce emissions as “out of touch with reality.”

Nearly 25 years later, the reality of a changing climate is now clear to most Americans, as heatwaves and wildfires, rising sea levels and extreme storms become more common.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced moves intended to expand offshore wind, though he stopped short of declaring a national climate emergency. A Supreme Court ruling last monthlimited the federal government’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, meaning it will be up to a divided Congress to pass any meaningful limits on emissions.

Even as surveys show the public generally has become more concerned about climate change, a sizeable number of Americans have become even more distrustful of the scientific consensus. 

“The tragedy of this is that all over social media, you can see tens of millions of Americans who think scientists are lying, even about things that have been proven for decades,” said Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science at Harvard University who has written about the history of climate change disinformation. “They’ve been persuaded by decades of disinformation. The denial is really, really deep.”

And persistent. Just last month, even with record heat in London, raging wildfires in Alaska and historic flooding in Australia, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, a pro-fossil fuel think tank, said all the scientists had it wrong.

“There is no climate crisis,” the group wrote in its newsletter. 

Years before COVID-19 set off a wave of misinformation, or former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election helped spur an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, fossil fuel companies spent big in an effort to undermine support for emissions reductions.

Now, even as those same companies promote investments in renewable energy, the legacy of all that climate disinformation remains.

It’s also contributed to a broader skepticism of scientists, scientific institutions and the media that report on them, a distrust reflected by doubts about vaccines or pandemic-era public health measures like masks and quarantines.

“It was the opening of a Pandora’s Box of disinformation that has proven hard to control,” said Dave Anderson of the Energy and Policy Institute, an organization that has criticized oil and coal companies for withholding what they knew about the risks of climate change.

Starting in the 1980s and 1990s, as public awareness of climate change grew, fossil fuel companies poured millions of dollars into public relations campaigns denouncing the accumulating evidence supporting the idea of climate change. They funded supposedly independent think tanks that cherrypicked the science and promoted fringe views designed to make it look like there were two legitimate sides to the dispute. 

Since then, the approach has softened as the impact of climate change has become more apparent. Now, fossil fuel companies are more likely to play up their supposedly pro-environmental record, touting renewables like solar and wind or initiatives designed to improve energy efficiency or offset carbon emissions.

Aggressive approaches to address climate change are now dismissed not on scientific grounds but on economic ones. Fossil fuel companies talk about lost jobs or higher energy prices — without mentioning the cost of doing nothing, said Ben Franta, an attorney, author and Stanford University researcher who tracks fossil fuel disinformation. 

“We are living within an extended multi-decade campaign executed by the fossil fuel industry,” Franta said. “The debate (over climate change) was manufactured by the fossil fuel industry in the 1990s, and we are living with that history right now.”

The impact of that history is reflected in public opinion surveys that show a growing gap between Republicans and other Americans when it comes to views on climate change.

While the percentage of overall Americans who say they’re concerned about climate change has risen, Republicans are increasingly skeptical. Last year, Gallup found that 32% of self-identified Republicans said they accepted the scientific consensus that pollution from humans is driving climate change, down from 52% in 2003.

By comparison, the percentage of self-identified Democrats that say they accept that human activities are leading to climate change increased from 68 to 88 over the same time period.

Fossil fuel companies deny any intent to mislead the American public and point to investments in renewable energy as evidence that they take climate change seriously.

ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods told members of Congress last fall that his company “has long acknowledged the reality and risks of climate change, and it has devoted significant resources to addressing those risks.” ExxonMobil’s public claims about climate change, he said, “are and have always been truthful, fact-based … and consistent” with mainstream science.

Asked about its role in spreading climate misinformation, a spokesman for the Southern Company pointed to recent expansions in renewable energy and initiatives meant to offset carbon emissions. 

The 1998 “victory memo” laying out the industry’s strategy was created by the American Petroleum Institute. In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, API spokesperson Christina Noel said the oil industry is working to reduce emissions while also ensuring access to reliable, affordable energy.

“That’s exactly what our industry has been focused on for decades,” Noel said. “Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”

The 1998 memo is one of several documents cited by climate activists and some Democratic lawmakers who say they could be used to hold them legally responsible for misleading ratepayers, investors or the general public.

“It’s time for these companies to answer for the harm they have caused,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California.

Republicans, however, have said Democrats want to focus on climate misinformation to distract from failed environmental policies that are driving up gas and energy costs.



New Hampshire Executive Council

Just last week the 5-member Executive Council refused, for the fourth time, to fund three not-for-profit healthcare centers in NH. Why? Because the centers have services for abortion counseling and abortions. Despite the assurances of the special audits mandated by the legislature and done by the NH Health & Human Services to be sure that none of the requested funds would be used for abortion related services, four of the five councilors refused once again to provide the funding.

What Is the Executive Council


Why Do Our Votes Matter?

For information on the critical, unique role of the NH Executive Council in state government, check our this article by Dover’s Pam Raley HERE. Pam is a retired social services professional who knows well the importance of the healthcare services these centers offer.

The lone Executive Councilor to vote “yes” on the funding requests is our own Cinde Warmington. Because Executive Council districts have been re-gerrymandered, Cinde will not be our councilor in the next term. Somersworth Mayor Dana Hiliard is our Democratic candidate for Executive Council in November. We cannot take his election for granted – be sure to find that race on your November ballot and check the box by his name. We will feature Mayor Hilliard in an upcoming message.

Who Is Impacted?

Not-for-profit healthcare centers operate on a sliding scale for fees. They serve thousands of New Hampshire people annually and are often the only option for people who lack health insurance or have very limited coverage.


In 2020 the Executive Council was flipped to Republican control, 5-4. Previously, it had been 3-2 in favor of our Democratic candidates. We lost in large part because our voters did not VOTE the FULL BALLOT. This is also true of the NH legislature. In 2020, Democrats lost control of every arm of state government, even as Joe Biden was winning the state and Chris Pappas and Jeanne Shaheen were winning re-election. Let’s not let that happen again!


Veterans Take Note

Senator Maggie Hassan is a fierce, effective advocate for veterans. During this campaign there is an opportunity for her to uplift veterans in the Granite State. This is an opportunity to show your support in a public way, NOT a fundraising appeal.

Please fill out this form to show your support today! 


Meet 4 Primary Candidates

Tuesday, Aug. 30 7pm

By Zoom or In Person

Mark Your Calendars!

One State Representative district will represent Dover Wards 1,2,3,5,6, all but Ward 4. The Dover Dems monthly program for August will feature a chance to meet and hear from each of the four Democratic candidates who are vying for the three positions that will represent this district. They are:

Luz Bay

Geoffrey Smith

Nate Stewart 

Rep. Susan Treleaven

Primary voters will vote for up to three of the four candidates.

Meet NH Young DemsCisco Brewers, PortsmouthTuesday, August 9th6:00 – 7:30Join members of our New Hampshire Congressional Delegation, our current and future young leaders, and:Keynote SpeakerCalifornia CongressmanRo KhannaGet Your Tickets HERECampaign Season!Get Your Tickets HERE.
OUR MISSION – The purpose of the Dover Democratic Committee is to improve the quality of life of all persons, especially residents of Dover, New Hampshire, through the democratic process of government at the local, county, state, and national levels.  We work to promote and support the Democratic Party, to identify and elect strong Democratic candidates and to advance legislative actions reflective of Democratic values. Dover Dems – Living Our Values
Building a Better World

Donations In Support of Electing Democrats Are Welcome & Appreciated