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California May Break Environmental Rules For Tesla

California lawmakers are considering waiving a more than four decade old environmental statute as they attempt to entice Tesla Motors Inc. to build a $5 Billion dollar battery factory in the state. The plan is being negotiated in the office of Gov. Jerry Brown. In addition to granting Tesla a waiver that would exempt the company from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the governor’s sales pitch also includes tax breaks that could be worth as much as $500 million (10% of the project total cost.)

The CEQA statute was passed in 1970 and was signed into law by then governor Ronald Reagan. CEQA does not regulate land use, rather it requires state and local agencies in California to follow a protocol of analysis and to disclose environmental impacts of proposed projects to the public. The statute also requires feasible measures to mitigate those impacts to be adopted. Your guess is as good as mine how the feasibility of mitigation plans is determined or which bureaucrat is responsible for making that call.

The Tesla battery plant would provide 6,500 jobs. California is competing with Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas for the factory that Tesla CEO Elon Musk refers to as his “gigafactory.” You can see why Californian politicians so badly want this factory to be built in California. You better believe the politicians would claim that they “created” 6,500 jobs when election time comes rolling around.

Not everyone in California is super excited to see lawmakers lower the environmental bar in order to allow a crony corporation to build a factory in the state, even if the factory is manufacturing batteries that fuel a liberal's fantasy, the electric car.

The LA Times reports what some unhappy environmentalist had to say about the proposal.

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Thank you for posting. I was just about to. This CEQA was written to regulate STATE AND LOCAL projects. It has been exploited ten-fold, courtesy of the good fat cats in Sacramento. Yet another heartfelt rule by the worshiped Ronald Reagan that turned out not so great.

I'm all for Tesla taking advantage of this, and I have been very critical about that company in many aspects.

I am for everyone paying less taxes and taking advantage of less regulations here in CA. If I was a business, I would take advantage of the offer as well. No fault of them.

What needs to be looked at here are the CEQA regulations. They need to be looked at ASAP.

meekandmild's picture

Key word RULES

not LAW.


It's a regulation, which is law. And you can bet it's enforced as law.
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*


It's a statute actually, which is a law. Point being. It is a double standard. Plain and simple cronyism.


My definition of statute, is, like you were saying a small "l" law. Because it lacks in the moral fiber that is needed to make it an actual, real Law.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm- What the? >
Strike The Root: There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

Yeah but

Try explaining that to the cool cats in Sacremento

Elon Musk...

Gets a lot of praise from libertarians but isn't often called out on his crony capitalism.
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Isn't cronyism a two way

Isn't cronyism a two way street? I fail to see his side of the bribery, other than submitting to the extortion that is taxes, which would be forced out of him one way or another. I highly doubt he is contributing to their campaigns (could be wrong though).

Now if every business in the state was able to leverage their tax deposits this way, things would change a lot faster.


Would be out of business if it wasn't for carbon credits.
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Seems to be that tesla is

Seems to be that tesla is smartly playing within the rules of a rigged game. Until the rules can be changed, that is the way to play. Or would it be better to just go out of business?

I still do not see how/if he has influenced this policy to come about. He very well could have, but where is the evidence?

It's almost like saying that people shouldn't try to reduce their tax liability because other people pay taxes.