Ford increases 3Q lobbying to $1.7m

Ford Motor Co. spent $1.73 million lobbying federal officials in the third quarter about electric vehicle tax credits, bills to promote ethanol and natural gas vehicles and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report the company filed.That's 21 percent more than a year earlier, when...

Ford Motor Co. spent $1.73 million lobbying federal officials in the third quarter about electric vehicle tax credits, bills to promote ethanol and natural gas vehicles and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report the company filed.

That's 21 percent more than a year earlier, when it spent $1.43 million, and it's slightly more than the $1.71 million its spent in this year's second quarter, according to reports filed with the House clerk's office.

The company lobbied members of Congress, the White House and various federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ford weighed in on legislation that would establish tax credits for natural gas-powered vehicles and extend existing tax credits for electric vehicles. Ford will soon begin selling an electric version of the Ford Focus sedan which is eligible for a $7,500 tax credit.

Ford also lobbied on several ethanol bills, including one that would end tax subsidies for ethanol production and another that would prevent the EPA from using federal funds to increase the ethanol content of gasoline. Ford's F-150 pickup and Expedition SUV are among the vehicles Ford produces that can run on E-85 ethanol.

Ford weighed in on a bill that would require automakers to share more information with independent repair shops. It also talked to lawmakers about legislation that would boost U.S. production and research of rare earth materials such as platinum, which is used in car parts.

Trade issues also figured prominently in Ford's third-quarter lobbying. Ford supported free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia which were approved by Congress in October. Ford also lobbied the government on Japanese currency manipulation and tariffs on Chinese-made tires.

Ziad Ojakli, the former chief Senate liaison to President Bush, is among those registered to lobby for Ford, according to the report filed Oct. 20.

More