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California Fires Back At Elon Musk: Denies SpaceX Funding

Elon Musk's SpaceX was denied a request for US$655,000 funding from California's Employment Training Panel, after the entrepreneur threatened to move Tesla's headquarters out of California over a row with a local county about the reopening of the Fremont factory during the lockdown.

SpaceX was seeking the funds from the panel for training newly hired employees, retraining people, and job creation.  

The panel, however, rejected the request from Musk's SpaceX venture on Friday, days after Tesla reopened its factory in Fremont, California, in violation of a shutdown order issued by the health authorities of Alameda County.  

"Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me," Musk tweeted on May 11.

A couple of days before that, Musk had said that Tesla would move its headquarters to Texas or Nevada after the Alameda County Health Department told the EV maker that it could not reopen yet as the lockdown measures continue longer than expected. 

"Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant 'Interim Health Officer' of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!" Musk tweeted on May 9. 

Regarding the SpaceX request for funding, the Teamsters union called on the California panel last week to reject the application, saying that Musk "has a proven track record of enriching himself and his companies instead of being a good corporate partner who understands the value of operating a fair workplace. He and his company SpaceX are not deserving of taxpayers' dollars."

One of the officials on California's panel that reviewed SpaceX's funding request, Gretchen Newsom, moved to deny the motion after "raising concerns about wages, job retention and turnover and Musk's recent threats to leave the state," Bloomberg reported.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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