Palo Alto, California-based Tesla is preparing to choose a
location for a proposed $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant dubbed
the "gigafactory." The project is expected to employ 6,500 workers.
"California has set the example for the world in battling climate
change and promoting innovative technology to lower carbon
emissions," said California Democratic state Senate leader Darrell
Steinberg, who introduced the bill to create the incentives along
with Republican state Senator Ted Gaines.
"This factory would help us achieve the dual goals of strengthening
our economy and fostering more clean technology and renewable
energy," Steinberg added.
The bill, which needs a two-thirds majority vote from both houses of
the legislature, aims to expedite approval processes for breaking
ground on the factory and offer Tesla a series of tax cuts. The bill
does not yet have language detailing the specific incentives.
It was introduced after Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticized California's
business regulations in a call with investors on Tuesday, describing
the state's approval process for building green technology sites as
complex and lengthy, and saying other states have a "more
"Everything is on the table – tax credits, investment credits,
hiring credits," Gaines said. "We need to show Tesla that we'll cut
through the knot of red tape that frustrates companies in this state
and prove that California is open for business."
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Fears that Tesla might take its business outside California to avoid
state regulations spurred a bipartisan partnership between Steinberg
and Gaines. Both of their districts are in and around Sacramento
County. They are aiming to lure Tesla into building its factory on a
former military base in the county.
"California will have to meet the same criteria as other locations
in terms of speed to implementation. Speed is of the essence," said
Shanna Hendriks, a spokeswoman for Tesla.
(Additional reporting by Rory Carroll in San Francisco; Editing by
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