Group promotes electric cars for St. Paul’s Ford plant

With electric cars on the verge of being the next big thing, an environmental group in Minnesota is pushing the techonology as a way to lower global warming emissions, oil consumption and unhealthy air pollution.

And Environment Minnesota, an advocacy organization, also is working with business and government leaders to save jobs by urging Ford to begin building plug-in electric cars in Minnesota, at the scheduled-to-be-closed-next-year Ford Plant, in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood.

On Wednesday, Environment Minnesota and other groups will release a report on plug-in electric cars and their role in improving the environment:

“We believe if local, state and federal leaders can work together we can save the plant, the planet and keep good paying jobs here in our state. We hope leaders will work with Ford to create the incentives to build electric and hybrid vehicles right here at this location that will reduce pollution and oil consumption and make our state a healthy place to live.”

The report will be released at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the UAW Local 879 Union Hall, 2191 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, across the street from the Twin Cities Assembly Ford Plant.

Speaking will be:

  • Ken Bradley, program director with Environment Minnesota
  • Rob McKenzie, United Autoworkers Region 4 International servicing representative
  • Lynn Hinkle, policy director with Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association
  • Minnesota state Rep. Frank Hornstein.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Bill Coleman on 01/19/2010 - 12:24 pm.

    I see that Ford will not be a part of the panel discussion.

    Maybe the UAW needs to find a more entrepreneurial partner that is interested in starting a new company to build these cars. Maybe the UAW could be part-owner of this company.

    Hoping that Ford will select St. Paul to do this is wishful thinking, especially after they have already sold the hydropower plant which was a main locational advantage for building cars at this location.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 01/20/2010 - 11:05 am.

    The group might consider also that, while (thankfully) folks no longer buy huge SUVs, many still need small pickup trucks. These, too, could be hybrids or electric.

  3. Submitted by Holly Cairns on 01/26/2010 - 09:22 am.

    Cool! I love it when we go green. We really need to take a good look at our natural resources and how best to use them. What generates electricity? Coal (not so good) and WIND!

    What other natural resources to do we have? Metals under our feet (mining), forests (wood, renewable), food production, water.

    My thoughts on Ethanol: If you have celulosic capability, build it near me. While you are at it, figure out how to use less water.

    My thoughts on Copper mining up north: better technology and some of the bi product used as a fuel? Use it all as a fuel, even if it cuts into profit (heh, I’m not even sure they could use it all as a fuel. But why are they only using some?) IMO, it’s better to control the production of copper here than ship it in from another place. Better use of resources, better control of production. We can mandate better and better production. Copper mining will bring MUCH NEEDED jobs to our northern region, which is suffering stoicly.

    Wind: What about the new Swedish technology (two blade)? Let’s place incentives on new production within Minnesota: New factories to produce, new technology, new farms, best practice.

    Water: Our most precious natural resource? Balance a need for clean water with a need to capitalize on using our resources. Work with farmers to reduce polution and run-off. You know how to do that, and so do I. make it economical for farmers to produce using better chemicals.

    Food production: The southern part of Minnesota. Ask farmers what they need, be there for the rural families.

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