Georgia Republicans think that the new Rivian electric truck factory will destroy local ecosystems and harm the community. It may seem strange that Republicans would suddenly care about the environment, a topic that they’ve dismissed before, but in actuality, they don’t. They are just pretending to for the sake of politics.
The New York Times shared the wild story, and it’s a doozy. Rivian invested $5 billion into the state and is slated to bring around 7,500 new jobs while accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels. I thought Republicans loved jobs?
The author noted that the EV factory could grow to be as large as five times the size of the Pentagon while producing 400,000 emissions-free trucks annually. Initially, Governor Kemp supported the EV factory. However, that has now changed due to politics. The EV factory has become a political weapon and it seems that the governor doesn’t want that weapon aimed at his position.
Many of the opponents of the factory think that it will contaminate the groundwater and destroy the local ecosystem. Others don’t like the idea that Rivian is getting incentives. Fellow Republican, Senator David Perdue, is challenging Governor Kemp in the Republican primary and he’s been holding rallies where he made claims Rivian is a bad fit for the community. He also accused Governor Kemp of selling out to special interests.
“We can grow the economy without selling out and giving our tax dollars to people like George Soros. We can invest in rural Georgia without kicking our communities to the curb.”
The incentive package that the State of Georgia is offering Rivian includes an allocation of $125 million in Governor Kemp’s budget. The funds will help with land and associate training costs. In addition, both state and local municipalities are planning to give Rivian tax breaks in the coming years.
Senator Perdue made a reference to Soros, a left-wing billionaire with a hedge fund that owns $2 billion in Rivian stock. Bert Brantley, deputy chief of staff to Governor Kemp, told the New York Times:
“People get concerned any time their community is impacted.
“We’re not dismissing it or taking it lightly. This is a real impact that people are going to feel. They certainly deserve to have their questions answered.”
Rivian’s vice president of public policy, James Chen, told the New York Times that the concerns were misplaced and that the community should be more focused on the new, green jobs.
“This is about an American company leading in technology and innovation.
“At the end of the day, we’re a green company and we want to do this in a green way.”
Republicans Care About Political Power
It’s clear that the issue with the plant is purely political. This is more about political power than it is about jobs, EVs, or even the needs of the community. And the environment, a topic and stance that is often dismissed by Republicans, is being used as one of the reasons why the Rivian plant is “bad for the community.”
It appears it may be more about Republican disdain for Soros than anything else. Soros is often a target for conservatives. Bruce Levell, advisor to former President Trump, told the far-right TV network One American News:
“We found out that Soros has a tremendous amount of money backing this project. We don’t need George Soros involved in anything dealing with Georgia.”
So, as you can see, owning the libs is more important to conservative Republicans than jobs or the environment.
Although Georgia Republicans are worried about the environment, they seemed to be completely at ease with the recent passing of House Bill 1150, also known as the Freedom to Farm bill. It still has to be passed by the state senate and signed by the governor before becoming state law. The bill would make it harder for people living near a farm to sue the farmer or agricultural operation for damaging their property or interfering with their rights to use their property. What does this mean? Pollution.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that environmental groups would find it harder to sue a farm over polluting public resources such as groundwater or a river — something the very same Republicans were worried about Rivian doing with its plant.
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