Public Citizen * Greenpeace
Jan. 9, 2018
Ford Receives 2018 Hypocrisy Award for Promoting Innovation and Sustainability While Colluding With Trump to Undo Climate Safeguards
At Consumer Electronics Show, Environmental and Consumer Advocates Give Award to Ford CEO
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 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 and even testified before Congress 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 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 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.”
Photos from the event will be available at www.forwardnotbackward.org/hypocrisy.