FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Contact: Leah Wiste, Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
Faith Organizations Deliver Petition to Ford Motor Company Headquarters Urging Automaker to Support Clean Car Standards
DEARBORN, MI — Today, Interfaith Power & Light, the United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Women delivered a petition signed by over 4,000 people of faith and over 700 clergy and faith leaders to Ford Motor Company’s headquarters to denounce the automaker’s lobbying of the Trump Administration’s proposed rollback of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards, popularly known as the Clean Car Standards.
The petition asks the automaker to publicly state its support for the clean car standards that it previously committed to and promised to support in 2012. Over the past few months, local and state affiliates of the national faith organizations have met with Ford dealerships across the country to let them know that people of faith in their communities want to be able to purchase fuel-efficient cars from Ford and oppose any effort to weaken the popular and working standards agreed upon in 2012.
“We are calling on Ford, with their past statements on environmental responsibility and the need for climate action, to lead the automakers back to a responsible position that publicly stands by the current Clean Car Standards without compliance loopholes that would erode the benefits of the standards,” said Leah Wiste, the Executive Director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. “As people of faith and conscience, we are called to protect our common home. That’s why we condemn this effort to weaken the nation’s clean car standards.”
“Pollution from cars disproportionately harms the most vulnerable among us: children, the elderly, the infirm and the poor,” said Rev. Campbell Lovett, United Church of Christ in Michigan. “We are called to serve those less fortunate. Clean car standards protect health and improve human life. That is why we are here today at Ford Headquarters.”
“There is a visible intersection between climate justice and Christianity as our faith teaches us to be good stewards of all that is entrusted to us. For the good of God’s Creation and for the health of frontline communities, we are urging the Ford Motor Co. and its dealerships to recommit to the achievable Clean Car Standards they once supported,” said Elizabeth C. H. Lee, United Methodist Women’s executive for economic and environmental justice and climate justice lead. “This is an issue where the biggest emitters of climate harms should play a leading role in reducing our collective carbon footprint. As an institutional investor and and women of faith, we are counting on Ford to act more justly and more boldly.”
“When we love God and neighbor we stand up and voice our opposition to the careless rollback of safeguards such as fuel efficiency standards and tailpipe emissions standards that protect children from increasing asthma rates, our elders from pollution-related illnesses that shorten their life spans, and all of us from carbon emissions that are driving climate change,” said Rev. Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power & Light. “We continue to call on Ford Motor Company to play a leadership role in protecting the current, strong standards.”
Today, the transportation sector is the single largest and fastest growing source of climate pollution in the United States. Cars and pickup trucks account for 47 percent of oil used in the
United States and nearly one third of our greenhouse gas emissions. These standards are the most significant policy the U.S. has to cut climate pollution.
This petition delivery and meeting request comes on the heels of a contentious June 20 Congressional hearing over the rollback, where key rollback architects, EPA’s Bill Wehrum and NHTSA’s Heidi King, were asked hard-hitting questions about the devastating role that it will have on public health, the environment, consumers, and even the auto industry itself.
Michigan Interfaith Power & Light (https://www.miipl.org/) connects faith, sustainability, and justice. Our mission is to inspire and equip people of faith and conscience to exercise care and respect for our common home.
Interfaith Power & Light (IPL), and 40 state affiliates, reach people of faith in more than 20,000 congregations across the U.S., mobilizing them to act on climate change. The mission of Interfaith Power & Light (www.InterfaithPowerandLight.org) is to inspire and mobilize people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.
United Methodist Women (https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/) is the largest denominational faith organization for women with approximately 800,000 members turning faith, hope and love into action to improve life for women, children and youth around the world. Climate Justice is one of UMW’s four issue priorities.
With 5,000 churches and nearly 900,000 members across the U.S., the United Church of Christ (UCC, http://www.ucc.org/) serves God by seeking a just world for all. With roots among the Pilgrims and Puritans, it today strives to embody and further God’s love through a rich diversity of ministries across the United States.