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Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, reopened this week in violation of a shutdown order issued by the health authorities of Alameda County, but it didn’t stop Elon Musk from considering a move to another more business-friendly state like Texas.
The California county authorities confirmed that the Tesla plant had been reopened, adding that they had notified the company it could only maintain minimum operations until the county reviewed and approved its safety plan.
As for arrests, which Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk acknowledged as a possibility and said he should be the only one to get arrested, none were made.
“I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” Musk tweeted yesterday. The Tesla CEO also said, in response to a question about whether the state of California had approved the reopening of the factory, that “Yes, California approved, but an unelected county official illegally overrode. Also, all other auto companies in US are approved to resume. Only Tesla has been singled out. This is super messed up!”
Musk’s fight with the Alameda County health authorities escalated earlier this week, when he threatened to pull the company out of California and relocate production to Nevada or Texas. As usual, he took to Twitter to launch his attack.
“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 Saturday, just as Tesla said in a blog post that it would reopen the Fremont factory in accordance with strict rules for safety.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk continued on Twitter. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
It was no idle threat, either. Tesla filed a suit against Alameda County this week, Business Insider reported, citing the suit as alleging the county order ignored an earlier order issued by Governor Newsom, which allowed business in 16 industries, including transportation, to resume operation.
Musk’s advances toward Texas did not go unnoticed. A Hidalgo County judge sent a letter to Elon Musk, wooing him to move Tesla’s California plant to his county, valleycentral.com reported.
“I have recently read of your displeasure with authorities in California and your desire to relocate to Texas ‘immediately’ … You, of course, are well familiar with South Texas given the presence of the SpeceX launch site at nearby Boca Chica Beach. What you may not be familiar with is the Rio Grande Valley’s and Hidalgo County’s existing relationship with automobile manufacturing and the value it may bring to Tesla Motors,” the letter read in part, adding that there is no longer a shelter at home mandate.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.