Freedom From Oil Campaign to Expose Auto Industry's Eco-Hypocrisy

Environmental and human rights advocates will hold a series of creative actions outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, calling attention to the wide gap between the auto industry's words and actions.

Published: 14-Nov-2007

LOS ANGELES - November 13 - This week, the Los Angeles Auto Show will kick off to great eco fanfare as the auto industry rolls out a series of concept cars in an effort to deflect building criticism from environmental advocates. Meanwhile, automakers are blocking tougher emissions standards in the courts, where they are locked in a longstanding legal fight to block laws passed by California and 11 other states that would regulate global warming pollution from tailpipe emissions.

Later this week, environmental and human rights advocates will hold a series of creative actions outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, calling attention to the wide gap between the auto industry's words and actions. Members of the Freedom From Oil Campaign will call on automakers to mass produce pollution-free, petroleum-free vehicles and will prove the viability of such technologies by performing a one-day, rapid conversion of a traditional gasoline-electric hybrid to a 100 mpg plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

"The automakers know how to put on a good show, but when the rubber hits the road, their only real commitment is to keeping the status quo," said Sarah Connolly of Rainforest Action Network. "With extreme drought and wildfires in California, oil spills fouling the shores of San Francisco and the Black Sea, and oil prices approaching $100 a barrel, it is high time for the automakers to stop saying what they can't do and start giving American drivers the oil-free, zero-emissions vehicles we want and deserve.

Increased fuel efficiency will save consumers money at the pump, increase national security by reducing the nation's reliance on oil, and help curb global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emission. Automakers could reach a 40-mpg standard using available technologies to improve conventional gasoline vehicles, and a 55-mpg standard by making the majority of their passenger vehicles hybrid-electrics.

"Fuel-efficient cars are the seat belts of the 21st century-necessary for our families' safety and the survival of our planet," said Nick Magel of Global Exchange. "If domestic automakers want to survive global competition and are serious about making environmental commitments, why not hire engineers to implement the innovative technologies we already have instead of lawyers to litigate against California's demand for clean cars?"

The Freedom From Oil Campaign, a coalition of environmental and human rights advocates organized by Global Exchange, Rainforest Action Network and Ruckus Society, is working to end America's oil dependence, stop oil-related conflicts, and curb climate change by convincing the auto industry to dramatically improve fuel efficiency and eliminate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, visit www.ran.org/what_we_do/freedom_from_oil/ or www.globalexchange.org/war_peace_democracy/oil/.

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