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Evil Ford Motor Co. Tries To DESTROY Successful Electric Trucks: direct action opposes!

Friday, January 21, 2005
Day 8: VICTORY!
After 8 days outside the Downtown Ford dealership; a flood of television, print, and radio coverage; and a deluge of calls and faxes to Ford from all of you, FORD MOTOR COMPANY HAS AGREED TO SAVE THE REMAINING ELECTRIC VEHICLE PICKUP TRUCKS ON THE ROAD!

ROUND THE CLOCK VIGIL to save California's pollution-free, all-electric Ford Ranger trucks is underway now at DOWNTOWN FORD IN SACRAMENTO!

"'Car-sitters' protest Ford's confiscation and destruction of zero-emission, zero-oil Ranger EV trucks....Inspired by civil rights sit-ins and powered by a 5,000-watt mobile solar array, citizens for clean cars have buckled-in for an extended 'car sit' over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend at Downtown Ford in Sacramento. EV drivers Dave and Heather Bernikoff-Raboy, Bill Korthoff and supporters WILL RESIST THE REPOSSESSION of their Ford Ranger EVs and DEMAND FORD KEEP ITS ORIGINAL PROMISE to sell the petroleum-free, pollution-free pickups to loyal California lessees. Supporters are calling on America's worst ranked automaker to revive its EV program..."
nice strategy that got lots of media, had a clear objective, showed it was already posssible, promoted sustainable paths, non-violent though with a barb that threatened to show corpo-elites as repressive and unsustainable at the same time, and connected with a lot of people...etc.

And it worked.

Perhaps a suggestion for other raw material based protests--to concentrate on technological repression of other already existing sustainable paths that are being killed off?


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 17, 2005
11:45 AM

CONTACT: JumpStartFord
Paul West, 415-377-8304
 media@jumpstartford.com

'Car-sit' Vigil Enters Day 4; Ford Ranger EV Drivers Resist Repossession
Round-the-clock vigil to save California's pollution-free, all-electric Ford Ranger trucks is underway now at Downtown Ford in Sacramento.

SACREMENTO -- January 17 --

'Car-sitters' protest Ford's confiscation and destruction of zero-emission, zero-oil Ranger EV trucks. EV drivers buckle-in to hold Ford to its promise to sell Ranger EVs to loyal lessees.


Supporters call on Ford to revive its EV program and immediately improve fuel efficiency of its out-dated fleet of gas guzzlers.

This holiday weekend in Sacramento, Ford electric vehicle (EV) drivers, climate protection advocates, healthcare professionals, solar energy experts and human rights and peace activists began an 'EV vigil' to protest Ford Motor Company's confiscation and destruction of its all-electric, zero-emission Ranger pickup trucks.

Inspired by civil rights sit-ins and powered by a 5,000-watt mobile solar array, citizens for clean cars have buckled-in for an extended 'car sit' over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend at Downtown Ford in Sacramento. EV drivers Dave and Heather Bernikoff-Raboy, Bill Korthoff and supporters will resist the repossession of their Ford Ranger EVs and demand that Ford keep its original promise to sell the petroleum-free, pollution-free pickups to loyal California lessees. Supporters are calling on America's worst ranked automaker to revive its EV program and immediately implement existing technology to improve the bottom-of-the-barrel fuel efficiency of the rest of its gas guzzling fleet.

WHO

* Dave Bernikoff-Raboy, California rancher/Ford Ranger EV driver
* Heather Bernifkoff-Raboy, healthcare professional/Ford Ranger EV driver
* Bill Korthoff, solar energy expert/Ford Ranger EV driver
* Jason Mark, clean car campaigner, Global Exchange
* Jennifer Krill, zero emissions director, Rainforest Action Network
and more...

WHAT
* EV 'car sit' vigil underway now

WHEN
* Began on Friday, January 14, 2005 and goes until further notice
* Daily rallies at noon

WHERE
* Downtown Ford, 525 North 16th Street & Bafler Street, Sacramento


Yet another broken promise

California rancher David Raboy acquired his Ranger EV in 2001 through Ford Motor Company's GreenLease program.

In a January 23, 2004 letter to Mr. Raboy regarding "lease end responsibilities and alternatives," Ford offered him the option "to make arrangements to purchase the leased vehicle" stating "Ford Credit can finance the purchase." Mr. Raboy sent a certified letter accepting the offer of sale while Ford continued to deposit recurring payments beyond the lease expiration date. Then, in a November 18, 2004 letter to Mr. Raboy, Ford broke its promise and reneged on its offer stating "Unfortunately, there is no possibility to extend your lease or for you to purchase your vehicle" and recommended that Mr. Raboy "consider the Ford Escape Hybrid as an alternative." Mr. Raboy reported the matter to California attorney general Bill Lockyer's office in phone calls on December 20, 23 and 30, 2004, and with a certified letter on January 6, 2005. Mr. Raboy's Ranger EV was fully powered by a solar system on his Northern California ranch. (Copies of correspondence and proof of payments are available upon request.)

Ford fights progress

The Ranger EV repossession is the latest in Ford's ongoing assault on federal and state efforts to improve emissions standards and implement fuel efficiency market incentives like California's progressive new law allowing carpool lane access to hybrids that achieve at least 45 miles per gallon, a standard that not one Ford model meets. In late 2004, Ford supported the filing of a federal lawsuit to overturn California's popular new vehicle emissions standards, the nation's first-ever rules to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to global warming and the most advanced automotive GHG reduction targets in the world.

America's oil addict

"Automaker Rankings 2004," a recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, ranks Ford as having "the absolute worst heat-trapping gas emissions performance of all the Big Six automakers." According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the overall average fuel efficiency of Ford's fleet today is 18.8 mpg, dead last among the major automakers for the fifth consecutive year. Since the oil crisis of the 1970s, Ford has ranked worst in overall fuel efficiency of all major automakers for 20 out of the last 30 years. From subcompacts to SUVs, Ford's current car and truck fleet gets fewer miles per gallon on average today than its Model-T did 80 years ago. 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, each truck generating up to 100 tons of atmospheric carbon over its 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. On September 2, 2004, Niel Golightly, director of environmental strategies for Ford Motor Company, told USA Today, "Clearly, the entire industry could build nothing but zero emissions cars today if it wanted to."

Supporting statements

"My all-electric Ford Ranger hauls more weight that my three-quarter ton Chevy with a 350 internal combustion engine," says California rancher and Ranger EV driver Dave Raboy. "Since I have solar panels, my cost to run the truck is almost nothing. In three and a half years it has required no maintenance, no oil and no gas. I feel good driving by gas stations and not consuming oil extracted from conflict regions like the Middle East or fragile ecosystems like the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. People stop me on the street all the time and ask how to get their own electric pick up truck. When I tell them that Ford is refusing to sell me mine and crushing the rest its EVs, they are infuriated."

"I am outraged by the termination of Ford's electric vehicle program," said California healthcare professional Heather Bernikoff-Raboy. "EVs do not have a tailpipe and do not emit smog forming pollutants or greenhouse gasses. It is criminally irresponsible to ignore skyrocketing asthma rates among children and adults. The central valley of California has the highest asthma rates in the state, 12 percent for children and 11 percent for adults. Fresno has a childhood prevalence rate almost double that of the statewide average. Pollution-free electric vehicles are a huge step in the right direction. The technology is practical and available now. Apparently Ford values its profits over the health of America's children. Ford never marketed these vehicles like it did its other gas-guzzlers. Over my three and half years of driving an all-electric pickup truck, at least one hundred people asked me, "Where can I get one?". And that's just from one person driving one EV truck. Imagine where Ford's EV program would be today if the company mass marketed EVs like they do SUVs."

"If Ford were serious about breaking America's oil addiction, it wouldn't be trashing its fleet of zero-emission, zero-oil electric pickup trucks," says Jason Mark, a clean car campaigner at the human rights group Global Exchange. "Ford needs to make a u-turn and restart its electric vehicle program."

"Ford's repossession of California's Ranger EVs is highway robbery," states Jennifer Krill, director of the Zero Emissions Campaign at Rainforest Action Network. "California taxpayers coughed up substantial subsidies and tax breaks to help the EPA's worst ranked automaker comply with the state's 2001 ZEV-mandate. Ford took taxpayer money, gutted the popular law, killed its EV program and crushed the only clean cars in its oil-addicted fleet. Ford's oil binge is a danger to public health, human rights, national security and ecological sustainability. Hydrogen remains a tailpipe dream, and a handful of petroleum-powered hybrids is too little too late at this stage in the global climate crisis.

America needs EVs not SUVs."

"Ford executives may be vegans and yogis as they claim, but the company's repossession and destruction of all-electric, zero-emission cars and trucks is proof positive that Ford has fallen off the wagon," said Sarah Connolly, an organizer with the Jumpstart Ford Campaign. "Solar powered EVs are an immediate solution to the persistent problem of Ford's low fuel efficiency and high greenhouse gas emissions. Ford blames lack of consumer demand for killing its EV program because it is in denial that there were long waiting lists for EVs of every make and model. It's time for Ford to pull away from the pump and plug in to petroleum-free energy."

For more information about the movement to break America's oil addiction and turn Ford in the right direction, please visit  http://JumpstartFord.com.

###
 http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0117-03.htm


Follow the action on our blog!  http://JumpstartFord.com

Read the media coverage from the vigil!  http://JumpstartFord.com

Friday, January 21, 2005
Day 8: VICTORY!

After 8 days outside the Downtown Ford dealership; a flood of television, print, and radio coverage; and a deluge of calls and faxes to Ford from all of you, FORD MOTOR COMPANY HAS AGREED TO SAVE THE REMAINING ELECTRIC VEHICLE PICKUP TRUCKS ON THE ROAD!

Dave, Bill, and Ray will be able to buy their pickups from the company for $1. The other 85 vehicles will be sold on a case-by-case basis.

By keeping these electric vehicles on the road, we are showing the public that it is possible to build zero-emission, zero-oil automobiles that won't contribute to global warming or petroleum-related violence.

This is an amazing victory, and it couldn't have happened without your support and encouragement. This victory goes to show the power of non-violent direct action and the possibilities of what can happen when people put all of their energy on the line to create a more peaceful and sustainable world. It proves that by acting together we can force even the largest corporations to change direction and make a U-turn away from their misguided policies. It makes clear that we are on track toward breaking America's oil addiction.

We're packing up now and heading home, but the fight's not over. We still intend to convince Ford to restart its zero-emissions electric vehicle program. As the automaker with the worst average fuel economy and worst greenhouse gas emissions, Ford should be building zero-emission vehicles not destroying them.

Thanks for your support of the clean energy revolution.

 http://jumpstartford.blogspot.com/

add a comment on this article

window dressing 09.Feb.2005 07:34

edsel

Ford's track record on environmental issues is so overwhelmingly negative they can't even stand the window dressing of social responsibility. Furthermore, ev's are not the answer to environmental destruction from the automotive sector.
Electricity comes from somewhere, and in this country it tends to come from very polluting industries.
I don't see how co2 from a smokestack is any more beneficial to the atmosphere than co2 from a tailpipe.
Brad Berman's Hybrid car newsletter, which came yesterday, had some interesting positions taken by major auto manufacturers on the topic of hybrids. I looked at fords hybrid escape suv, and it is (in my opinion) JUNK. Can't even carry cargo that is 5' long.
Nissan's corporate stance was even more offensive than GM's. These corporations are completely clueless. They're not going to lead society away from the brink of environmental collapse, so it's up to us to brew biodiesel in our garages, and not drive unnecesarily.
VW, incidentally, it betting the farm on better diesels. They got my business that way.

Most powerful image... 09.Feb.2005 12:10

pp

Rainforest Action Network has been running this ad for awhile. Most excellent.

The ultimate price of oil addiction
The ultimate price of oil addiction

half agree half disagree with the first comment 09.Feb.2005 13:29

poster

'nice' RAN image there. So true.

I would half agree and half disagree from the above comment about EV's as totally useless, because (at present) most electricity comes from oil/natural gas/coal anyway in the United States. Still, sticking a solar panel on a house, and then connecting it to the car., etc. ?

See, I approve of this because it breaks the monopoly on oil link to the consumer who is forced to consume oil because of corporate technological decisions, instead of choosing oil through consumer choices.

Once the oil link is broken at the consumer, a lot more is technologically possible. As their banner said it clearly "Ford: addicted to oil since 1903." We have done nothing energy wise with the whole past 100 years except expanded an unsustainable technology that allowed political clientelism to be expanded at the expense of other technologies and material relations.

Plus, I believe that a wider plurality of technologies out there is a solution preferable to yet another "one true path of technology," like you seem to claim as well.

peace

on second thought 09.Feb.2005 17:11

re-write

instead of :

Once the oil link is broken at the consumer, a lot more is technologically possible. As their banner said it clearly "Ford: addicted to oil since 1903." We have done nothing energy wise with the whole past 100 years except expanded an unsustainable technology that allowed political clientelism to be expanded at the expense of other technologies and material relations.


closer to what I meant:

Once the oil link is broken at the consumer, a lot more is technologically possible. As their banner said it clearly "Ford: addicted to oil since 1903." Ford and oil corporations choosing oil, not the consumer. The consumer has been corraled into delimited choices because of oil corporation politics (if you read anything at all about it, mass corruption and subsidies that have shielded oil from consumer pressures against it). Oil corporations are the engine manufacturers--interlocked directorates since the 1920s. Thus, oil/engine corporations have done nothing energy wise with the whole past 100 years except expanded an unsustainable technology that allowed their political clientelism to be expanded at the expense of other technologies and material relations. What has been going on in the 'marketplace' has nothing to do with economic relations. It has been the politics of demotion of choice of other materials and technologies for securing a corporatist raw material regime around oil that is politically unchallengable by the consumer. EV vehicles break this a bit.

add a comment on this article