The court’s analysis of the PRC’s exigency plan did not raise new issues for the Postal Service and business mailers. When the court denied the business mailer’s claims, it ruled the PRC acted arbitrarily when it determined the amount by which the Great Recession affected USPS revenues. The PRC set that amount at about $3.2 billion. The court called for revisiting of the amount of exigent collections that would trigger the exigent price increase’s expiration.
The court focused on the rule that authorizes collection of an exigent price increase’s expiration.
Finally, the court summarized the problem it had with the “count once” rule: “In enforcing a ‘count’ limitation for lost mail, the Commission refused to recognize the cost to the Postal Service of lost mail volume beyond the year in which it first disappeared. For example, a worker laid off during the recession might cancel her cable subscription and no longer pay her monthly bill by mail. The Commission would count that change as a loss of no more than twelve pieces of mail; the Postal Service would count it as lost volume for as long as the recession stand between the worker and her cable subscription. If it takes her four years to find a new job and re-subscribe, the Postal Service would count forty-eight lost pieces of mail.”
Unfortunately, the outcome cannot be determined without more action by the USPS, the PRC, and potentially the courts.