• Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
California may ease some of its decades-old environmental mandates for potential developments in an effort to get electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors to build its gigafactory in the Golden State. There is a certain irony in that, but given that the $5-billion factory could bring 6,500 green jobs to the state, it's not surprising.

State legislators and Tesla representatives are in talks about easing some portions of the California Environment Quality Act (CEQA) for the sake of expedience, the Los Angeles Times reports, citing state Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin). Additionally, the state may give tax breaks worth about a half-billion dollars to Palo Alto-based Tesla, whose current vehicle factory is in nearby Fremont. Tesla spokeswoman Liz Jarvis-Shean, in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen, would only say that California is "in the running" for the gigafactory site, though declined to comment further on negotiations. Not everyone would be happy with such an agreement, of course. The Sierra Club is already on record as crying foul for possible CEQA exemptions.

There's been no shortage of speculation on the possible location for the gigafactory, which should be open by 2017 and has been talked about landing in just about every southwestern US state except California. Most recently, Nevada and its Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center emerged as the proverbial lead dog, with its lower taxes, cheap real estate and lithium-mining capabilities. Texas, New Mexico and Arizona are also being considered for the giant plant.


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  • 34 Comments
      Levine Levine
      • 9 Months Ago
      Numerous onerous taxes, excess regulations, and the general anti-business climate of California government have driven much heavy manufacturing and industry from the People's Republic of California. Big bureaucracy and corrupt politicians have enhanced the migration of precious human and financial resources out of the socialist state and thereby creating a reservoir of low skill, low IQ, and low income proletariats dependent on government handouts. Food Stamp State of California spearheads Food Stamp Nation. Socialist California out spends every other state in the Union in welfare payments. The State has been insolvent for more than 15 years despite raising taxes and creative financing. Modesto, Fresno, and Stockton are three California cities that ranked 1,2,3 in the Union, respectively, for auto theft and with some of the highest unemployment rate among the nation's cities except Detroit's wasteland. A bit further south, Los Angeles has the dubious honor of ranking somewhere in the top 10 in auto theft. Tesla's luxury brand is catering to a diminishing number of affluent customers. But for the immediate occupancy of the vacant NUMMI factory and special rent subsidies from Sacramento, Tesla should have and would have long left California. There's still time for Tesla to come to its senses before it's too late.
        purrpullberra
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Just one IDIOTIC thing you got wrong I'll point out, out of a dozen: There is no diminishing numbers of affluent people, sh1+ for brains. Look at all the lists of how many more millionaires get made each year, in every part of the world. You have absolutely no credibility now after saying such insane crap. I've told everyone here I'd like to kill off most of the planets people and I'll still get more respect then you. What sh1+stain do you live in, I mean, which do you think Tesla should move to? Tell me tell me Levine Levine
        Marco Polo
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        @ Levine Levine You really hate America, and all things American, don't you ? It's odd that if California, and Californian's, is such a dismal place, whose population is inflicted with such low IQ's, is the home to the world's most innovative and creative industries ! If you're so concerned about the low average IQ of Californian's, you could help by leaving the State, thereby raising the average IQ.
      kmiller22kathy
      • 9 Months Ago
      Another example of Hydrogen Basher purrpullberra's extraordinary debating skills. Dear Lurkers- Please note one of the big things these hydrogen bashers have in common- they are extremely unpleasant people to try to "debate" with. And talking about killing people is a bonus. What an embarrassment. purrpullberra might actually be working for a hydrogen company, trying to stain the battery only dinosaurs. Keep on truckin' Big Boy.
      jim5437532
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's pathetic that government is considering giving big business polluters like Tesla special treatment, so greedy corporations like Tesla can pollute even more. Where is the outrage? How come all the Tesla fan boys that spam news comments claiming to be environmentalists, are outraged by government considering giving a greedy corporation like Tesla favorable treatment to pollute more than other businesses? That's because Tesla and Tesla fan boys really don't care about the environment, economy or poverty. It's sickening that they are considering using taxpayer money to subsidize rich people and greedy corporations that pollute the environment and squander & exploit our resources. Why are most if not all of the sites that Tesla is considering, are areas that can be easily damaged by the heavy metals and other toxic chemicals from manufacturing Tesla batteries? Why are sites being considered that are more likely to harm the soil and water table? Why are most, if not all all of the sites being considered areas that often have water shortages? Why divert precious water from wildlife areas and agriculture to greedy corporations that pollute? The truth is Tesla fan boys don't care about the environment, water supply, food supply, economy, wildlife or poverty. They are greedy shills in bed with greedy big business like Tesla that pollutes and exploits the environment.
        Grendal
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jim5437532
        Your argument would hold more water if you haven't been trolling Tesla articles for the past couple years. You don't really care about the environment except to bring negativity onto Tesla for whatever reason you have for that. Please give your true reasons for hating Tesla and we can discuss them openly. This fake environmentalism is just a dodge.
        purrpullberra
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jim5437532
        Wow, ignorant and pathetic. Great two'fer. Tesla doesn't pollute and they want to abide by all regulation. So all of your stupidity in the comment is based on no facts, as usual.
        Spec
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jim5437532
        Big business polluters? You need to provide some evidence that they are a 'big business polluter'. I'm sure they do pollute some but I'm guessing that it is lower than other typical big manufacturers.
        krona2k
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jim5437532
        Wow you're really grumpy! You didn't short Tesla did you?
        kmiller22kathy
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jim5437532
        Well said, Jim. Keep fighting for the truth. Tesla will be lucky to survive in a few years if Lord Musk doesn't accept that he was wrong about "fool cells". Having to admit that in front of the world just might wipe the perpetual smirk off his face.
          Grendal
          • 9 Months Ago
          @kmiller22kathy
          Musk has his beliefs. It probably wouldn't come up except the media likes to create conflict and asked Musk a pointed question.
        m_2012
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jim5437532
        I think Amazon has a special going on tin-foil hats. You should pick some extras up. Building batteries is still cleaner than the heavy metals and rare earth metals that go into the average car. Will you ever get the rare metals back out of your catalytic converter? Plus all the shipping for the thousands of parts in an ICE engine. Most engines contain parts from up to 100 different places around the globe. How is that heavy oil stream looking in the ocean?
        Workingman
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jim5437532
        Wow! What a bunch of BS. Although, you probably think that fracking is OK.
      RC
      • 9 Months Ago
      CARB rewrites the rules for Hydrogen all the time. The hypocrisy is monumental.
      Levine Levine
      • 9 Months Ago
      Off with her head! said the Queen of Heart upon hearing the bad news from lips of the messenger. Your Majesty! If I may add, not only has the messenger brought forth disturbing news and bad tiding, but she has committed treason, disloyalty, and blasphemy against your Kingdom, the Sojourn of Asia interjected. Off to the stakes!
      Grendal
      • 9 Months Ago
      I had no feeling in the matter. I just posted the information. We will see what happens. Tesla is a big corporation and I will watch to see whether they are being hypocritical about this as will everyone else.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 9 Months Ago
      Tesla should say "Thanks, but no thanks." It's an optics issue. If CA lowers the environmental standards that Tesla must follow, it will only be fodder for those who don't like Tesla. Tesla holds themselves to a very high standard, and they should show themselves to be willing to meet (and go beyond) any environmental standard set.
        m_2012
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I dont think they are relaxing the regs any. They are just cutting some of the red tape, and thus time, that it takes to get things approved. I could most certainly be wrong.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 9 Months Ago
          @m_2012
          It appears that they would be waiving the requirements for preliminary environmental impacts, as well as periods of public input. No doubt those processes slow down construction, but that is exactly what they are designed to do and why the law was put into place. Tesla should already be well aware of the timelines involved, and have made accommodations reflecting those schedules. Sure, we all want the giga-factory built ASAP, but "mitigating damages" after the fact isn't something Tesla should be doing. They should be avoiding creating damages in the first place, by following the legal procedures in proper fashion.
        Spec
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Cut through the red tape but still hold them to the actual rules that prevent environmental damage. Heck, I view this kinda like the people taking experimental drugs for Ebola. We have an emergency going on and things like the Tesla Gigafactory that may speed a transition to electrified vehicles are worth cutting through red tape to accelerate. Make sure they commit to installing some solar farms and wind farms as their proposals have shown. Reduce pollution, reduce the trade deficit, reduce greenhouse gases, create local jobs at Tesla, create local jobs at utilities, reduce our strategic dependence on oil (*cough*Putin*cough*mid-east*cough*), etc. Its a win in many ways that are all needed.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Spec
          How do we know what environmental damage has been done, unless they do the preliminary assessments?
          purrpullberra
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Spec
          LTAW:judge by past corporate and executive behavior and if they've been abiding by regulation.
        Grendal
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I +1nd you for your point. For me, I suppose it comes down to what standards they are relaxing. Cutting through bureaucratic red tape would be fine. Dumping loads of toxic chemicals into the water table would be unacceptable and hypocritical of Tesla to do. I expect it to be more likely the former and not the latter.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          "Cutting through bureaucratic red tape would be fine." It's fine because you support Tesla. It wouldn't be fine if it were any other global corporation. As I said, it's an optics issue. Tesla should set the standard, not allow standards to be set aside. Do the environmental impact statements, listen to public input, and then proceed as normal.
          Grendal
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          I get your point and it is a valid one. I'd be happier if California relaxed the bureaucratic standards in general. I'd guess that 80% of the rules were created to combat a specific incident long in the past but everyone else has to jump through the hoops for almost no reason. I've had to deal with California bureaucracy and it isn't pretty or helpful. It was mostly a waste of time. Most of it was to prove that you weren't out to create an unsafe environment. So you have to spend months to prove something is safe that you knew was safe from day 1.
      Marco Polo
      • 9 Months Ago
      Laws should be applicable to everyone equally. It's hypocritical of Tesla supporters to condone the waiving of such safeguards as Environmental Impact Studies, simply because it's Tesla. If any other company received a preferential waiver, the same Tesla fans would be the first to scream "corrupt politicians "! The State of California is perfectly entitled to provide whatever financial inducements (even another half billion) to attract Tesla Motors Inc to continue operating and expanding in California. That's a matter between. the government and the voters. But, granting exemptions from conducting mandatory environmental impact assessments, is a different story. Tesla Motors is no longer a small start up, it's a $ 30+ billion corporation. Tesla must follow the rules, or who can tell the circumstances under which the next 'exemptions' will be approved.
        purrpullberra
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        If you wish to pretend Tesla deserves no more trust than companies with terrible records, who cause environmental trauma, go ahead but most thinking people understand WHO the company is MATTERS THE MOST. It is the whole point of REPUTATION. If the regulators are FIGHTING a company because the company always fights environmental regulations and breaking those rules over and over, and they always do, then every single step along the way needs to be scrutinized to ensure these terrible behaving people/companies must be held to account. When dealing with companies and people who have every intention of ABIDING by the strictest environmental standards and have the entire plan being constructed as a near-zero waste project and who have also always shown respect to the regulatory process it can make a lot of sense to do things as fast as possible. They have every intention of following the law. And the citizens and state are still pollution free and they have thousands of jobs. Proving all their own power is one way this is different than other construction projects of this scale. Reputation of the company and its leaders are key in deciding whether the public has any trust in you. Tesla may be one of the most respected companies around and their Gigafactory is attractive to the states BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO BE SO CLEAN AND SELF-CONTAINED. If you think all that is worth ignoring go ahead. Most Americans won't ignore these facts. People who know what Tesla has survived and what they have in store know that they deserve this kind of a break on exactly this type of regulation. They have earned the right to be allowed to do their work ASAP and be monitored and checked out through the whole process rather than be treated like an untrustworthy corporation, like the rest of corporate America. If another stellar corporation needs something similar I have every reason to believe it will be considered too. If you have a problem with this I think you have a problem facing reality. Tesla is different from the rest of crowd. Enough to warrant its position and its reputation.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Yeah, soooo clean, and as an added bonus, people with bipolar disorder living downstream wont need to pay for their lithium meds. Just because a company is decidely green, doesn't mean their factory cant have a negative local environmental impact.
          kmiller22kathy
          • 9 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Scamming tax credits via the "battery swap" hoax surely indicates that Tesla is to be "trusted". What a laugh. "Battery swapping" stations that will never be built that is. Tesla: The Finest Coal Powered Car Money Can Buy- with help from Taxes stolen from the poor and middle class so rich people can buy new toys. http://www.zdnet.com/tesla-model-s-the-finest-coal-powered-car-money-can-buy-7000029509/
          Grendal
          • 9 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Tesla did not scam the ZEV credits. CARB actually changed the rules to shut them out. That is CARB's choice since they created the rules in the first place. But let's face it that Hydrogen lobbyists have maneuvered CARB into giving tons of ZEV credits to HFCV's. Again that is CARBs choice. But that really means that you shouldn't be throwing accusations around when the hydrogen lobby is manipulating the system for their benefit. Your trolling of Tesla and BEVs does not support your argument. The fact that you work, in some way, for HFCVs could be beneficial to inform the less knowledgeable of us of the benefits. Instead you choose to bash Tesla which has been very successful at promoting BEVs. This is not a war between the two no matter how much the media would like to portray it as such. Attacking Tesla just plays into that made up conflict.
      jphyundai
      • 9 Months Ago
      Long tailpipers require environmental waivers. As long as it out of sight, its green.
      Grendal
      • 9 Months Ago
      It looks like Tesla has a response: Update, August 13: A Tesla spokesman provided the following comment. “It would be incompatible with the mission of the company to request a waiver from this legislation. We want to make sure the integrity of CEQA [the California Environmental Quality Act] is preserved. It’s not about a waiver it’s about timing, that’s the critical issue here, what we are asking for is an expedited process that is fair for all stakeholders and that would allow California to be a viable candidate for the gigafactory.”
        jphyundai
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        Do you work for Tesla, sell their products or hold a large number of shares. Or are you concerned about the flow of replacement parts?
        Marco Polo
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        @ Grendal Be fair, if that was a PR release from, GE, GM, or Haliburton, would you be so accepting and approving?
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