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Hundreds of Clocks Sound Alarm on Ford's "Collusion" With Trump as Pruitt Does Industry's Bidding With Emissions Standards Rollback

"Rolling back the clean car standards is a disaster for our climate and for consumers," says Madeline Page of Public Citizen.

Alarm clocks outside Ford headquarters in Washington, D.C. demand the auto company "stop colluding with Trump." (Photo: Public Citizen)

Alarm clocks outside Ford headquarters in Washington, D.C. demand the auto company "stop colluding with Trump." (Photo: Public Citizen)

Three hundred alarm clocks gave a loud, though symbolic, wake-up call to automobile giant Ford on Monday.

The intended message: "The climate crisis is real and your efforts with Trump to roll back #CleanerCars standards will not go unnoticed."

The creative action outside the motor company's Washington D.C. headquarters was organized by Public Citizen, Greenpeace USA, and Safe Climate Campaign. It focused on Ford's lobbying—which was proven later in the day to be successful—the Trump administration to roll back Obama-era requirements for pasenger cars and trucks to improve fuel efficiency and cut greenhouse gases.

Banners unfurled next to the clocks read "Wake up, Ford" and "Stop colluding with Trump to make cars dirty again."

Public Citizen documented the action in a series of tweets:

Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford, argued last week that his company was "not asking for a rollback," though he added that it wants "additional flexibility to help us provide more affordable options for our customers." The comany and others in the industry began over a year ago pressuring the administraiotn to drop the standards. Industry lobby group Auto Alliance, of which Ford is a member, wrote (pdf) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt in Feb. of 2017 urging him to drop the requirements.

Given the background, Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, said, "The fact that Ford just denied that it is lobbying the Trump administration to roll back the clean car rules the company agreed to and promised to support, shows that it needs to wake up and smell its pollution."

"Rolling back the clean car standards is a disaster for our climate and for consumers," added Madeline Page, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen. The group says "rules already are delivering benefits." By 2025, the group says, the standards would mean that:

"That's why we are here to give a wake-up call to Ford about the consequences of its push with the Trump administration," Page continud. "Consumers will not stand by quietly. We are sounding the alarm about Ford's dangerous efforts."

As expected, Pruitt announced Monday that "the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised."

"The Obama Administration's determination was wrong," Pruitt said in a statement. "Obama's EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn't comport with reality, and set the standards too high." Pruitt did not lay out what "more appropriate GHG emissions standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards" would be, stating that the EPA along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would begin that process.

Progressive organization CREDO criticized the announcement.

"This is what happens when you put an oil industry shill in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency," said CREDO Action co-director Josh Nelson. "No one should be surprised that Scott Pruitt, who literally rented his condo from an energy industry lobbyist, habitually puts corporate polluters ahead of the American people."

"This backwards decision," he continued, "will pollute our air, increase costs at the pump, and fuel climate change, but Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump don't care because it will keep their corporate cronies happy."

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