From: The Energy Action Coalition
Published October 19, 2004 04:13 PM

Student Activists Deliver Clean Energy Declaration

Over 6,000 citizens call upon Ford, America's worst-ranked automaker, to commit to zero emissions future


Dearborn, MI — Citizen activists across North America from the Energy Action Coalition will declare “Independence from Dirty Energy” as part of an international day of action with over 240 demonstrations across the US and Canada. At the doorstep of Ford’s Corporate Headquarters in Dearborn, students will present over 6,000 signatures calling on CEO Bill Ford Jr. to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health, safety, and security of all Americans. The activists will be joined by the Statue of Liberty, wearing a military-grade gas mask, and backed by colorful banners and posters reading “Declare Independence from Oil: Demand Zero Emission Cars.”


Who: “Jumpstart Ford” Coalition Zero Emissions Activists and Michigan Students
What: Presentation of The Declaration of Independence from Dirty Energy to Ford Motor Company
When: 4:00 p.m. (EST), Tuesday, October 18, 2004
Where: Ford Corporate Headquarters on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn
Visuals: “Jumpstart Ford” coalition members and Michigan students presenting a bigger-than-life Declaration of Independence from Dirty Energy & a LIVE Lady Liberty struggling to “breathe free” through a military-grade gas mask.


The United States is the world’s largest oil consumer. With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States consumes a quarter of the world’s oil. According to statistics from the Energy Information Administration and the United States Census Bureau, Americans use more oil per person than any other developed nation.


According to the EPA, the overall average fuel efficiency of Ford’s fleet today is 18.8 mpg, dead last among the top six automakers for the fifth consecutive year. From subcompacts to SUVs, Ford's current cars and trucks get fewer miles per gallon on average than its Model-T did 80 years ago.


“Under Bill Ford, Jr.’s watch, Ford Motor Company’s EPA fuel efficiency ranking has plummeted to an abysmal last place for five straight years,” states Sarah Connolly, an organizer with Rainforest Action Network’s Zero Emissions Campaign. “Today, Ford is reporting on its annual earnings, but we’re here to remind Americans about Ford’s annual emissions.”


Ford’s fuel efficiency fiasco intensified in 2000, the year Ford sunk to the bottom of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rankings, and Bill Ford, Jr. made his now infamous broken promise to improve the fuel efficiency of his company’s gas guzzling SUVs 25 percent by 2005. Ford's 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 apiece over each truck's lifetime. Marketed as “the first American hybrid,” Ford's so-called 'no compromise' Escape represents less than one half of one percent of its fleet and will have virtually no impact on its last place fuel efficiency ranking.


The action in Dearborn is being coordinated by “Jumpstart Ford,” the national grassroots campaign to compel America’s flagship automaker to achieve a fleet-wide average of 50 MPG by 2010 and eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2020. For more information, visit www.JumpStartFord.com.


Energy Action is an alliance of organizations that support and strengthen the student and youth clean energy movement in North America. For more information, visit www.energyaction.net.


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