Sierra Club touts new Ford hybrid SUV

The Sierra Club has long criticized Ford Motor Co. for its environmental offenses, primarily the industry-worst average fuel economy of its fleet. So members may be surprised when Ford’s hybrid Mercury Mariner SUV is prominently featured in an upcoming club newsletter and on When the green group first offered to promote a Ford hybrid SUV last year, the company turned it away, but now — thanks to intervention from CEO Bill Ford — it is welcoming the opportunity to buff its battered green image. Ford, claims the club, deserves credit for becoming the third global automaker to offer a hybrid vehicle. Other activist groups aren’t so complimentary. Ford’s actions are encouraging, says Rainforest Action Network’s Michael Brune, but “the production levels [for its hybrid SUV] are so low that it will have no measurable impact on Ford’s bottom-of-the-barrel fleet-wide fuel efficiency or off-the-charts greenhouse-gas emissions.”