The Sierra Club’s New Video Attacks Ford for Playing Along with Trump

“Ford’s claims of sustainability in its advertising and here at the auto show are nothing more than greenwashing.”

In a video made public Wednesday, the Sierra Club denounced Ford Motor Company for lobbying the Trump administration and “#PollutingPruitt” to roll back vehicle efficiency and and emission standards.

The environmental organization timed the airing of their new video with the D.C. Auto Show, at which Ford isn’t showing any electric vehicles despite claiming a commitment to sustainability, according to the Sierra Club.

Titled, “Tell Ford to put clean cars in the fast lane,” the 53-second video features a man getting into a car, paired with a caption reading, “By 2025, fuel-efficiency of U.S. cars will nearly double thanks to current clean-car standards.” Once inside the car, the man notices all of the car’s gears shift to reverse. Without another choice, he puts the car in reverse and blasts back in time, as the car transforms into a Model-T. A caption then reads, “But Ford is trying to roll back these standards, so they can make cars with worse gas mileage than the Model T.”

The Sierra Club posted the video on Twitter, along with the hashtag, #ForwardNotBack (which couldn’t help but remind us of this Simpsons episode).

Not long ago, Ford pledged to invest in greener technologies, including $11 billion to put new electric vehicles on the road by 2022, a company spokesperson recently told The Hill, and the company has even criticized its own role in climate change. In a video put out by the company in conjunction with the release of their 2016-2017 Sustainability Report in August, executive chairman Bill Ford says, “The implications of climate change are pretty profound…If we continue to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution, what kind of example are we setting for our children—our grandchildren?”

Ford though isn’t alone in pushing for looser emission standards. In November 2016, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing companies including Ford, General Motors, and Toyota, sent a letter to then President-elect Trump, asking him to “harmonize and adjust” the Obama-era emission goals and regulations. In March, Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency to review current fuel efficiency standards after meeting with executives from different motor companies, including Ford.

“Ford may be trying to put on a good show, but behind closed doors, it has been working with Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt to roll back our single biggest defense against dangerous climate pollution,” said Andrew Linhardt, the deputy legislative director at the Sierra Club, in a statement. “Ford’s claims of sustainability in its advertising and here at the auto show are nothing more than greenwashing.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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