USPS Files Brief Against PRC Decision

Nov 24, 2010 10:40 PM  By

The U.S. Postal Service on Nov. 23 filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, appealing the Postal Regulatory Commission’s Sept. 30 ruling – which denied the USPS’s exigent rate case price request.

The brief contains two main arguments: the PRC misread the statute governing exigency; and the PRC acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by establishing new requirements that were not shared with or explained to the Postal Service.

The USPS claims that the PRC misread the statute and applied an incorrect standard in evaluating the request for an exigent price increase.

The ability to raise prices above the rate of inflation is a “safety valve included in the law” to ensure that the Postal Service is financially viable and can continue to provide universal mail delivery service to all Americans, the USPS contends.

In its decision, the PRC found that losing billions of dollars during the recession constituted an “extraordinary and exceptional circumstance.” The PRC also commended the Postal Service for doing all it could to manage and control costs, but still denied the price filing.

“The PRC erred by rendering the safety valve ineffective and passing the buck back to Congress,” the brief states.

The Postal Service was granted an expedited review of its case by the Court of Appeals earlier this month.