Ford Confirms It Can Meet Strong Vehicle Standards—Company Must Oppose Trump Administration’s Severe Rollbacks

Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published May 10, 2018

WASHINGTON (May 10, 2018)—In a call with shareholders today, Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett said that the company is committed to improvements in efficiency and would be able to meet today’s strong vehicle standards regardless of the Trump administration’s plans to roll these standards back. This statement confirms that today’s standards are technologically feasible and there’s no need to undo them as the Trump administration is planning. If Ford is committed to delivering cleaner cars, the company needs to oppose the administration’s proposal, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Michelle Robinson, Director of the Clean Vehicles Program at UCS.

“It’s encouraging to hear from Ford’s leadership that they are able to keep the promises they made to the American people to offer them more efficient, lower-emissions cars and trucks. Drivers want and expect automakers to deliver improvements in efficiency, and if Ford follows through on these promises, that means less pollution and real savings for consumers at the pump. But the company needs to make sure its actions match these encouraging words.

“The Trump administration has put forth a proposal that would bring the progress we’ve made on innovative, clean cars to a screeching halt. At the request of auto industry lobby groups, the administration re-opened these standards—and threw out years of scientific research showing that the standards are working. If the Trump administration gets its way, automakers wouldn’t need to improve vehicle efficiency at all after 2020—which means drivers would be burning billions of extra gallons of gas. If automakers want credit for caring about sustainability and moving automotive technology forward, they need to tell the Trump administration they don’t need and don’t want these standards undone.

“Jim Hackett and his company have an opportunity to show real leadership—not just by keeping their word and delivering cleaner cars, but by telling the Trump administration not to throw out the successful standards that have made those cleaner cars possible. If Ford executives know they can meet these standards, they have a responsibility to defend them.”

Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, signed a letter to auto industry leaders today, asking them to defend clean car standards, and Kimmell and former EPA Administrator William Reilly wrote a joint op-ed asking automakers to oppose a rollback of standards last year.