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Rainforest Action Network
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 30, 2004
12:33 PM
CONTACT:  Rainforest Action Network
Paul West, (415) 398-4404, x319
Tim Kingston, (415) 575-5543
 
Ford Can’t ‘Escape’ Lowest EPA Ranking 5-Years Running
July 4th Ads Calls On Americans To Declare Independence From Oil And Demand Zero Emission Cars
 

SAN FRANCISCO - June 30 - Global Exchange and Rainforest Action Network today launched a nationwide July 4th advertising campaign calling on Americans to declare independence from oil by demanding a fleet of zero emission cars from Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s worst ranked automaker in average fuel economy for the last 5 years. The wartime-style posters depict the Statue of Liberty struggling to ‘breath free’ through a military-grade gas mask. The outdoor ads will start appearing in major U.S. auto markets on Independence Day weekend. The blitz is the latest move from “Jumpstart Ford,” the national grassroots campaign to compel America’s flagship automaker to chart a new course and improve its fleet-wide fuel efficiency to 50 MPG by 2010 and eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2020.

“Ford needs to ‘green’ its oil-addicted fleet not just its blue logo” said Jennifer Krill, director of the Zero Emissions Campaign at Rainforest Action Network. “Ford’s claims to be ‘greening the blue oval’ again are echoes of a broken promise Americans heard when it pledged in 2000 to improve its SUV fuel efficiency 25 percent by 2005. Ford can’t escape its abysmal fleet-wide EPA ranking by producing a few thousand token hybrid SUVs and one green roof. If the environmental consequences weren’t so dire, Ford’s latest eco-marketing push, complete with an 8-page advertorial insert in The New Yorker full page ads in National Geographic, would be laughable for giving smoke and mirrors new meaning.”

“Ford’s release of a few thousand hybrid SUVs gives tokenism a bad name,” said Jason Mark, Clean Car Campaigner at the human rights group Global Exchange. “If Ford were truly determined to break America’s oil addiction, it wouldn’t be at the bottom of EPA fuel economy rankings. We’re left wondering: If Ford can build a ‘no compromise’ hybrid, why would it build anything else?”

According to the EPA, the Ford fleet has ranked the worst in average fuel efficiency of all major automakers since 2000. According to Ford, it plans to produce 20,000 hybrid Escapes through model year 2005, representing six-tenths of one percent of Ford’s entire fleet. 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.

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