October 9, 2007
Portland Prius Parade / Protest Post
This came over the transom this week... Unfortunately I will not be able to directly participate as our Prius will be carpooling a group of ASL students to a conference Eugene on Friday...
to highlight TOYOTA’s lobbying against fuel efficiency in US Congress.
Time: Friday October 12th, 2007 10:30am-11:30am
Location: Parading from Fred Meyer’s parking lot (NE Wiedler S t. and 32nd Ave) to media event.
We’d love to know that you’re coming!
Please contact Emily Southard to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-231-4181 x 303.
TOYOTA: moving backward.
Toyota’s actions don’t match their “Green” image:
-Toyota, producer of the Prius, one of the most efficient cars on the road, is actually lobbying against increasing fuel efficiency standards.
-Join the thousands of American consumers who are telling Toyota to drop its efforts to block legislation to increase fuel economy and state laws that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
-It is time for Toyota to earn its reputation as a green company!
(Although I support the concept behind this protest and would likely be participating if the car were available, I have no past history of working with this group and am passing this on as information without directly endorsing it.)
- Bob R.
October 16, 2007 4:56 PM
Bob R. Says:
Portland Tribune coverage of Toyota's resistance of new CAFE standards, the Prius rally, and other local air pollution issues.
October 16, 2007 5:00 PM
Bob R. Says:
The Tribune article linked above quoted a few words from my remarks at the Prius event... here is the full text of those remarks:
Friday, October 12, 2007
I bought my Prius with my partner in January of 2006, after a lot of research, with the intention that we were making an environmentally conscientious choice as concerned citizens, as well as the usual economic and "fun to drive" choices.
We appreciated Toyota's image of "Moving Forward", believing that we were purchasing from an increasingly "green" company, hoping that by supporting innovative technology (and paying more for it than a conventional car), we would allow Toyota to lead other car companies when it comes to environmental responsibility.
We are also increasingly concerned about our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, which adversely impacts our foreign policy and puts our troops in harm’s way. Hybrids don't solve the problem of oil consumption, of course, but they are a big step in the right direction.
Overall, we bought a Prius from Toyota because we are concerned about the environment and wanted to do something to help -- we knew buying a hybrid wouldn't save the world, but when it came time to buy a new car, we wanted to lighten burden we place on the earth just a little bit. It is incremental steps (doing what we can where we can) combined with new technology which will lead to change.
It doesn't hurt that it's also a fun car to own: Our friends and relatives love it, and my Grandma is always amused by the "map lady" who gives directions to the doctor's office and "never gets angry". And we love that we can go to Seattle and back without having to fill up.
This is why I am disturbed to hear that Toyota is fighting against fuel economy standards by lobbying against them in the US Congress. Holding back progress on fuel economy standards essentially undoes all the thousands of little steps people are already taking as individuals.
These standards would improve our environment, save us money at the pump, and reduce US dependence on foreign oil. While independent action by individuals is a great place to start, progress is stalled unless everyone is on board: Large corporations and the government need to see past the next quarterly report and realize that what is good for the planet is good for business in the long run.
We like our Prius, but it is upsetting to think that our dollars are now being used to lobby against higher fuel efficiency standards that would benefit everyone - our generation and the next. We want the company to drop its opposition to the Senate's reasonable, bipartisan approach to increasing fuel economy standards in the US. (And I shouldn't have to tell you how rare it is to see "bipartisan" anything these days.)
Toyota should not be saying one thing to its own customers like us, and saying something completely different to our Senators and Congressmen.