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Ford Receives 2018 Hypocrisy Award for Promoting Innovation and Sustainability While Colluding With Trump to Undo Climate Safeguards

; Date: January 11, 2018

Tags: Ford Motors »»»» Climate Change

At Consumer Electronics Show, Environmental and Consumer Advocates Give Award to Ford CEO

Jan. 9, 2018

LAS VEGAS – As Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett took the stage today to deliver his keynote address on automobile innovation at the Consumer Electronics Show, advocates attempted to present the company with the 2018 Hypocrisy Award for trying to undermine fuel efficiency standards while claiming to care about the climate and environment. Ford goes to great lengths to promote an environmental image, yet is working with the Trump administration to undo fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards, known as clean car standards.

The standards, which were finalized in 2012 and set mile-per-gallon goals for automakers to meet by 2025, have curbed climate-causing pollution, improved health, saved consumers money at the pump and prompted automakers to innovate and invest. Automakers helped craft the rules and pledged their commitment to meet them.

Now, companies like Ford are trying to have it both ways – advertising themselves as being green but in fact working with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Trump administration to roll back the standards. Ford’s contradictory positions are particularly stark: Chairman Bill Ford proclaims himself [SustainableBrands] an environmentalist, stating that “climate change is real and a critical threat, and we will continue to work with leaders around the world in support of ambitious global greenhouse gas reduction targets.” But his company hides behind the Alliance, whose lobbying efforts threaten to undo the largest federal climate program on the books.

“Despite how much Ford tries, there’s no disguising its backward push to stymie innovation and bring consumers pollution-belching, pocketbook-draining guzzlers,” said Madeline Page, campaign coordinator with Public Citizen. “In September, we called on Ford to back up its sustainability claims with action by no longer participating in efforts by the Automobile Alliance to undo the clean car standards. But since then, Ford’s lobbyists have met with the Trump administration [BusinessInsider] and even testified before Congress [AutoNews] to roll back the safeguards. Our award was a humorous way to showcase a deadly serious problem. I’m glad we could deliver the trophy today.”

Since the push for seat belt laws in the 1960s, automakers have decried safety standards as too costly or unpopular but have complied and enjoyed healthy profits. In the case of clean car standards, a Natural Resources Defense Council poll [NRDC] found that 95 percent of Americans want automakers to continue to improve fuel economy, and 79 percent want the government to increase standards. Moreover, automakers are meeting the standards more affordably and faster than predicted, and an International Council on Clean Transportation study [ICCT] showed that compliance costs for 2025 standards will be up to 40 percent less than projected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“At this critical moment for the climate, we need companies like Ford to do a whole lot more than pay lip-service to the public – we need them to lead,” said Natalie Nava, project leader at Greenpeace USA. “Greenpeace is committed to holding accountable the companies responsible for the climate crisis. That’s why we’re here today at the Consumer Electronics Show, to call out Ford for its efforts to weaken a standard that would cut the climate impact of cars in half. We’ll continue to escalate our tactics until Ford keeps its promise to the American people and agrees to stop any and all rollback efforts on clean cars standards.”

Ford Motor Company Sued by Truck Owners Over Possible Emissions Cheating; Lawsuit Underscores Harmful ‘Pollution Before People’ Corporate Philosophy

Statement of Madeline Page, Campaign Coordinator, Public Citizen

Jan. 11, 2018

Note: Ford Motor Company is being sued by truck owners [Reuters] who allege that the company installed software in more than 500,000 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks between 2011 and 2017 to cheat federal emissions tests and allow twice the legal limit of diesel waste into the air.

Assuming these allegations can be proven, this is a deliberate attempt by Ford to evade the law and boost profits while deceiving its customers and polluting our communities. It appears Ford is pursuing every avenue available, from Congress and the White House [PublicCitizen] to perhaps even emissions cheating software, to avoid producing cleaner and more efficient vehicles.

The lawsuit suggests that at the same time Ford’s executive was posing for photos in the Rose Garden to celebrate clean car standards with President Barack Obama in 2011, the company was simultaneously installing technology that would allow its trucks to evade federal emissions requirements.

Ford Chairman Bill Ford likes to profess his environmentalist credentials, but if these allegations prove true, his company’s evasion is particularly callous and unacceptable. Ford Motor Company tries very hard to pitch the public on its community-centered ethos[RECODE]. But it is apparent Ford is focused instead on profits.

Earlier this week, Public Citizen and Greenpeace attempted to present Ford with the 2018 Hypocrisy Award at the Consumer Electronics Show in Nevada, but Ford’s latest corporate deceit may show that hypocrisy is the least of its wrongdoing. This is the latest in a long line of decisions that put their company’s profits over the public’s welfare. We will hold Ford accountable.

David Herron
David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.