Published on August 13th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro7
California May Waive Environmental Regulations To Land Gigafactory
August 13th, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
The bidding war for Elon Musk’s battery Gigafactory is heating up, especially now that ground has been broken in a region near Reno, Nevada. But while Nevada seems to have the upper hand for now, California is going all in with a $500 million incentives package, including an environmental regulations waiver that could speed the building process.
The LA Times reports that along with a boatload of cash, California politicians could waive Tesla’s need to adhere to some of the strictest environmental regulations, allowing the Gigafactory to get up-and-running as soon as possible.
California has been actively pursuing the Gigafactory, and despite not initially being a contender for the $5 billion project which could employ up 6,500 people, it has made gains on the other competing states; Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. The 25-year old California Environmental Quality Act erected serious hurdles to building such massive factories, as state officials are prone to taking a long time to thoroughly review major building applications. This can take months or years that Musk, who wants the Gigafactory running by 2017, doesn’t have. California could allow Tesla to skip the lengthy review process, as well as mitigate any potential environmental issues later.
This naturally has environmentalists upset, and while they’re normally in Tesla’s corner, the waiver is seen as giving preferential treatment to the ultra-wealthy, as well as setting a dangerous precedent. What other projects by “green” companies might be given an environmental waiver just to bring jobs to the state?
We’re all for the Gigafactory, but skirting environmental regulations doesn’t seem like the greenest move Tesla could make.
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