(By Josh Marks, cross-posted at Green Forward)
Earth Day weekend the inaugural New York City Green Festival took place at Javits Center North on Manhattan’s West Side. The most striking thing about the nation’s premier sustainability event was the convergence of corporate titan Ford Motor Company with an event more known for progressive politics, vegan cooking demonstrations and lefty speakers like environmental advocate Van Jones and “Democracy Now!” broadcast journalist Amy Goodman.
The fact that Ford — a former gas-guzzling enemy of the environmental movement — was displaying its new eco-friendly vehicles, is attributed directly to President Barack Obama not just saving the United States automobile industry and more than a million American jobs, but retooling Detroit by forcing them to produce smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles.
Obama’s auto industry rescue unleashed a wave of innovation and environmentally friendly design. Ford, GM and Chrysler now are spectacular success stories. Not only are they making cars people want to buy and creating jobs, but their lineup of fuel efficient cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are good for the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, good for national security by reducing dependence on petroleum and good for consumers by reducing trips to the pump. The numbers speak for themselves — 14.3 million auto sales expected this year, 1.5 million more than last year; and more than 139,000 jobs added in the last three years.
So there was Ford going green at the NYC Green Festival. Ford was a Corporate Innovator partner, meaning the company underwent a rigorous environmental review to be named a company that is moving toward social and environmental responsibility. Not only did Ford sponsor the recycling, compost and landfill bins scattered throughout Javits Center North, but the Ford Pavilion showcased the company’s latest enviro-friendly cars such as the C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid. The C-Max launches in North America fall of 2012 and will have a projected driving range of 500 miles with better fuel economy than the Toyota Prius v and better miles per gallon equivalent (MPG-e) in all-electric mode than the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. Also on display was the Focus Electric, which is undergoing a limited launch right now in North America and will launch in more markets later this year. The all-electric, zero emissions car delivers a range of 76 miles and has an EPA-rated 105 MPG-e, making it the most fuel-efficient compact car in the U.S.
Ford at the NYC Green Festival was a vivid reminder of the real results from Obama saving the auto industry and increasing fuel efficiency standards. This is what hope and change looks like in 2012 in the United States of America.
Obama for America recently launched Environmentalists for Obama to help supporters inform voters about the President’s green policies like the EPA’s historic fuel economy standards. Click here to log into the online calling tool and start making calls asking citizens to join Environmentalists for Obama.