Ground Truth Investigations

Jumpstarting Ford to Stop Global Warming

Tim Jones and feathered friend
BREAKING NEWS: Concerned Citizens Hold ‘Intervention’ at Ford Dealer

Dealer asked to pressure Detroit to stop pushing oil-addicted gas-guzzlers at Walnut Creek Ford

Jumpstart Ford Press Release
February 4, 2005

Oakland – Activists will protest at Walnut Creek Ford today with an act of intervention to force the EPA’s worst-ranked gas guzzler to stop driving America’s oil addiction. The action is a direct response to Ford’s broken promises to improve fuel efficiency and the controversial decision to eliminate its popular natural gas and all-electric vehicle programs.

Who:”Jumpstart Ford” Coalition Zero Emissions Activists
What:Intervention For Ford Motor Company, America’s Oil Addict
When:1:30-2:30 PST Friday, February 4, 2005
Where:Walnut Creek Ford at 1800 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA
Visuals:Giant helium balloons holding colorful banners reading: “#1 in Greenhouse Gas Emmissions” and “EPA’s worst ranked automaker for five years running”

This creative intervention coupled with a negotiation with dealers will confront Ford with a message that its gas guzzling fleet is a leading cause of global warming and a danger to public health, national security, economic stability and human rights. Participants in today’s action represent a broad spectrum of concerns and organizations including Code Pink, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, Ruckus Society, and many others.

“Ford’s oil binge is shattering the new American dream for energy independence,” said Jennifer Krill, director of the Zero Emissions Campaign at Rainforest Action Network. “It is unconscionable that Ford’s fuel efficiency continues to fall at a time when the Arctic icecap is melting and over 100 million Americans are living in major auto markets that exceed federal health guidelines for clean air. In light of mounting evidence that deadly tailpipe emissions are a leading cause of everything from asthma to global warming, Ford’s addiction to oil is a crime against humanity that must end.”

“Ford doesn’t know when to say when, and the company’s denial about its oil addiction puts us all in jeopardy,” said Jason Mark, a clean car campaigner at the human rights group Global Exchange. “We will be at Ford dealerships in an effort to help the company. Our oil addiction is a clear and present danger to our economy, our environment, and our national security.”

The facts about Ford:

  • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the overall average fuel efficiency of Ford’s fleet today is 18.8 mpg, dead last among the major automakers for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Since the oil crisis of the 1970s, Ford has ranked worst in overall fuel efficiency of all major automakers for 20 out of the last 30 years.
  • From subcompacts to SUVs, Ford’s current cars and trucks today get fewer miles per gallon on average than its Model-T did 80 years ago.
  • Ford’s widely touted ‘eco-friendly’ Rouge River plant features a water-preserving green roof, yet manufactures 280,000 gas-guzzling F-150s a year, generating up to 100 tons of atmospheric carbon a piece over each truck’s lifetime.
  • Marketed as “the first American hybrid,” Ford’s so-called ‘no compromise’ Escape represents less than one half of one percent of its fleet and will have virtually no impact on its last place fuel efficiency ranking.
  • At the same time as Ford engages in a multi-million dollar marketing effort to “green the blue oval,” it is lobbying against fuel efficiency market incentives and fighting federal and state efforts to raise standards.
  • Less than five years after Bill Ford, Jr. publicly proclaimed that Ford was “the world’s leading producer and seller of electric vehicles,” it eliminated its popular zero emission all-electric and natural gas vehicle programs.
  • In 2000, Bill Ford, Jr. promised to improve the fuel efficiency of its SUVs 25 percent by 2005. In 2003, Ford reneged on that promise.
  • While there are long waiting lists for hybrids of every make and model, Ford blames consumer demand for its decision to continue manufacturing and marketing America’s least fuel-efficient fleet.
  • On September 2, 2004, Niel Golightly, director of environmental strategies for Ford Motor Company, told USA Today, “Clearly, the entire industry could build nothing but zero emissions cars today if it wanted to.”

Human rights and environmental groups are demanding that Ford use existing technologies to immediately improve its fleet-wide fuel efficiency and commit to ultimately eliminate tailpipe emissions. Just two weeks ago, intense public pressure convinced Ford to save and resell its only zero emission cars in America, the Ford Ranger Electric Vehicle.

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