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Former US Representative and noted climate change denier Ben Quayle has emerged as a registered lobbyist for a Atieva, a cutting edge California EV company.


Mysterious EV Company Atieva Hires Climate Change Denying Lobbyist Ben Quayle

Former US Representative and noted climate change denier Ben Quayle has emerged as a registered lobbyist for a Atieva, a cutting edge California EV company.

Now, here’s a mystery for you. Former US Representative Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) left office in 2012 with a lifetime environmental voting score of 7 percent voting from the League of Conservation Voters. Now he has emerged as a registered lobbyist for Atieva, one of those enigmatic, cutting-edge EV startups that CleanTechnica has been following.

So, what up Ben Quayle?

Atieva EV Ben Quayle lobbyist

Ben Quayle, Climate Change Denier

For those of you new to the topic, Ben Quayle was a rising star in Republican circles until redistricting pitted him against fellow Republican David Schweikert in 2012 to represent the newly minted 6th District. Upon losing, he took the usual romp down the lobbying path (after the appropriate hiatus), perhaps aided by his family pedigree (yes, those Quayles).

While in Congress, Quayle quickly established himself in the climate change denial camp, partly due to a 2010 candidate Q&A that recorded his take on the issue:

Our planet has warmed and cooled since the beginning of time.

As a lobbyist, Quayle has been relatively consistent in terms of client relationships. According to a July 6 report in The Hill, his firm Hobart Hallaway & Quayle Ventures has just racked up a new client, White Stallion Coal.

That company could certainly use some help. It lost a permitting battle for a new coal power plant in Texas back in 2013, and considering the roaring success of Texas’s wind energy sector, it’s not likely to make a comeback, at least not in Texas. The company is also a subsidiary of the now-bankrupt Patriot Coal Corporation, so there’s that.

Quayle’s client list also includes Duke Energy, an energy company that is still dealing with substantial legacy coal issues, although it has been transitioning into the renewable energy field.

And then there’s the firm’s relationship with the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America


Ben Quayle, Climate Champion? Not Necessarily

Quayle’s other newly announced client is Atieva. So, are you wondering why a cutting-edge American EV company would hook up with a climate denying fossil fuel lobbyist with links to the prison industrial complex?

We’re wondering, too, since the company has not made an official statement on its new relationship. However, Atieva did drop a big clue late last year, when China’s state-owned BAIC automaker bought a controlling share in the company.

BAIC intends to compete with Tesla for the American EV market, so we’re guessing that it places a high value on attaching itself to a high-profile name (except for maybe this), rather than attaching to a firm with a client list more consistent with EV culture.

In April 2016, BAIC was rumored to have sold its shares in Atieva, but apparently not — though, Jia Yueting, CEO of China’s LeEco, did buy in. That’s quite interesting because he is the key backer of another mysterious cutting-edge EV company we’ve been following, Faraday Future.

At any rate, it looks like all systems are go. By mid-June, Atieva was enthusing over its plans to launch a super-premium, powerful luxury EV in 2018, which does seem aimed directly at the Telsa market.

It is certainly moving along at a fast clip. On June 21, multiple sources reported that Atieva has settled on a home for cranking up its EV manufacturing venture — a 49,000 square foot R&D facility on Ardenwood Boulevard in Fremont, California — just a 10-mile jaunt from the Tesla factory.

Stay tuned.

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Image (screenshot): via Atieva.

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Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.


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