Home News Electric Cars California Governor Proposes To Exempt Tesla From State Environmental Laws To Secure The Company’s Highly-Toxic Gigafactory

California Governor Proposes To Exempt Tesla From State Environmental Laws To Secure The Company’s Highly-Toxic Gigafactory

California Governor Proposes To Exempt Tesla From State Environmental Laws To Secure The Company’s Highly-Toxic Gigafactory

When it comes to environmentally-based auto issues, it should be known that I am no big fan of business costs driven by the Federal EPA, and more importantly, California’s more Draconian State regulations.

And, if you don’t live there but would like to gain a sense of the direct impact of this bruising environmental climate, simply decide to take your appendix on your own, while accepting that the only surgical implement available will be a rusty spoon.

In short, dealing with these people is nothing less than awful – and expensive.

To illustrate the point and in more direct financial terms, the State of California levies the highest air quality taxes, and the highest refined fuel taxes, thereby creating the highest DMV registration costs and the highest smog certification costs nationally, and those items offer only a couple of California’s environmentally overwrought gotchas. In turn, this beehive of hidden hits have largely lead to the creation of the highest business development costs nationally which, as a practical matter, are largely the reasons why so many former California-based auto and supply-chain companies are on the way out of the state, or currently reside elsewhere.

However, ‘some’ of these environmental regulations actually apply to ‘protect the public,’ which leads me to recent discussions between Governor Jerry Brown, and San-Carlos California’s Tesla Motors, also known in investment analyst slang as the ‘most important auto manufacturer in the world.’ According to Bloomberg News and others, Brown recently announced that he would seek to abridge the state’s environmental laws in order to secure Tesla’s Gigafactory effort and, thereby keep the company in the state.

Now, I don’t know about you, but don’t you think that his offer sounds a bit desperate in a business development sense? Thankful, in the end, cooler heads prevailed since a Tesla spokesman suggested that, “It would be incompatible with the mission of the company to request a waiver from this legislation.” Well gee, ya think? Considering that the entire rationale for the “Gigafactory” is to build more lithium-ion battery packages that are known to be highly toxic during the manufacturing process?

Again, I’m not a fan of environmental regulations as a general rule, but there’s dumb and then there’s plain crazy. However, we are talking about Governor ‘Moonbeam’ Brown who never saw an auto deal he couldn’t screw up. So in the end, at least the people at Tesla saw the proffer for what it was, a ticking business bomb likely to blow up in their faces sooner rather than later.

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Rick Carlton has worked as a journalist, writer, researcher, editor, publisher and technologies professional for many years. His bylines have appeared in a host of domestic/international newspaper, magazine and online outlets including; The Auto Channel, Finland’s Teknikan Maalma, Unilever’s The Adrenalist, The Tribune Newspapers, The Austin Business Journal, Crutchfield Labs Research, Crowdfunding Guide and National Business Media’s magazine group. In addition to his publishing career, he served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector companies, and also taught as a professional instructor within the Coastline Community and Cerritos College systems. He has also served as a press/media consultant for a range of professional motorsports organizations including work for Diamond Rio Racing (NASCAR), Taylor Racing (ARCA), Jimmy Wellman Racing (NASCAR), and others.


  1. Tesla fan boys try to portray heavy metals and toxic chemicals as “green”. It’s telling how a greedy corporation like Tesla Motors has politicians falling over their feet trying to appease Tesla, by offering them an opportunity to pollute more. It’s telling how polluters are dishonestly touted as green. Many people that tout themselves as environmentalists, are in truth greedy polluters.

    According to TESLA, the high voltage battery (lithium-ion battery) can release toxic vapors; including sulfuric acid, oxides of carbon, nickel, aluminum, lithium, copper, and cobalt.

    A few examples of ignorance and lies a Tesla shill has spammed:

    WeaponZero “There are no toxic heavy metals in a lithium ion battery”

    WeaponZero “lithium ion batteries do not pose risk if they are land filled”

    WeaponZero “lithium ion batteries are non-toxic”

    WeaponZero “As I mentioned before, heavy metals are not a bad thing just because they are heavy metals. Lithium ion batteries are considered non-toxic. The CEO of BYD even drank one”.

    WeaponZero “if a battery is discharged and not being used, even if compacted there is no issue.”

    WeaponZero “landfill fires have nothing to do with lithium ion batteries”

    WeaponZero “I have done way more research on manufacturing of batteries and heavy metals than you.”

  2. Carlton is irritating with such extreme criticisms: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Tesla’s vehicles are not perfect, fella, but until you can design something better, I’d prefer to actually hear you compliment someone occasionally.

    The batteries Tesla is making do not end up in landfills… neither do the batteries in other cars… after a decade or so of use in a vehicle, a lithium battery loses enough energy density that it is better to be replaced, but not to be landfilled or even recycled: EV batteries, once they’ve lost a few miles of usable range, continue to have many years of use in stationary settings storing energy produced by wind and/ or solar systems. Stationary applications are far less concerned with energy density, so can provide much more use for buffering variable off-grid loads.

    Whatever faults one might find with California or Tesla, I prefer both over anything else available. If you wwant to drive some other vehicle or live in some other state, go for it… but I’d rather be in a Tesla in California than anywhere else one can recommend.


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