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 Agencys 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 Americas 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. Fords 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 cant escape its abysmal fleet-wide EPA ranking by producing a few thousand token hybrid SUVs and one green roof. If the environmental consequences werent so dire, Fords 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.
Fords 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 Americas oil addiction, it wouldnt be at the bottom of EPA fuel economy rankings. Were 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 Fords entire fleet. Fords 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 trucks lifetime.