Former US EPA official Margo Oge, author of Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter, Cars, wants Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford to take a leading role in setting new emissions and efficiency standards now that the Trump administration has reopened the midterm review on those rules, according to Automotive News. Oge would like to see Bill Ford “stand up and help California and the federal government negotiate any flexibilities for 2025 and set the road map for 2030.”
“We need a real leader in the industry to stand up,” Oge says. “And given the politics right now, it has to be a Detroit company. The one I see shaping this dialogue is Bill Ford.”
The Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman has long been an outspoken proponent of environmental responsibility, launching the automaker’s annual “Sustainability Report” in 2000 to assess its effectiveness as an eco-conscious manufacturer. Ms. Oge says that former Ford CEO Alan Mulally was already “big in helping us set the standards in 2012,” and years later, in late-2015, Ford announced a $4.5-billion bet on electrification that would lead to the introduction of thirteen new hybrid and battery-electric models by 2020.
Ford doesn’t yet have a battery-electric vehicle on the road apart from the slow-selling Ford Focus Electric, but that’s slated to change soon with a future electric crossover utility vehicle with a 300-plus-mile range.
Ms. Oge says that the standards set back in 2012 were reached through a process that was much more objective than the argument the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is now making, which is that the rules will prove tremendously costly to both sales and jobs. When the standards were reached, she said, the EPA met with automotive engineers one-on-one to avoid asking them to compromise any trade secrets, and those engineers had to prove to government experts that certain targets were unachievable.
Delivering the same objectivity throughout the reopened midterm review “will take an adult in the car industry to stand up,” Oge says. “And I’d like Bill Ford to do that.”