Just a couple of months ago NRDC launched a campaign with eight other groups to pressure Toyota to change their position opposing a substantial boost to federal fuel economy standards (35 mpg by 2020).
We made a big splash! Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Tom Friedman wrote about it in his New York Times column and we bought a flashy full-page ad in USA Today.
But Prius owners have only to look in the mirror to see why we succeeded. You sent more than 100,000 messages urging them to get with the program. There was also a “blog swarm” around this issue, thanks to irate Toyota fans across the country.
And it was a big success. Toyota has done a 180-degree turn and is now talking up the provisions it once fought tooth and nail as part of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers. Click here to read Toyota Motor Sales president Jim Lentz's own words: “This bill will challenge all automakers to achieve dramatic fuel economy increases. It represents a major step in the right direction that will result in significant oil savings and reductions in CO2.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself, and more importantly a recent analysis from corporate giant Citigroup found that this policy change will provide substantial benefits to the auto industry.
THANK YOU to Prius owners across the country who contributed to the effort. And here’s a gift from NRDC for changing minds at the world’s largest automaker, courtesy of our talented inhouse filmmaker Apollo Gonzales (the first link in this article also takes you to the video).