A coalition* of watchdog** groups is urging Gigafactory contenders to act as a team instead of trying to one-up each other, and to make all negotiations with Tesla visible to the public. Why? Because open dialogue will keep the incentives from escalating, to paraphrase the coalition. Secrecy, on the other hand, will cause a “race to the bottom” and ultimately irresponsible spending. See the implication there? The winner is actually scraping the bottom of the barrel! Tisk tisk.
Tesla wants a $500M dowry before it will seriously consider marriage. That’s outrageous, says the coalition’s open letter to the world. None of the contending states — Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, California — has responded to the letter. That’s no surprise. When rival bisons are locked in a stare-down with each other, they’re not open to a philosophical discussion. Not to mention, violating a confidentiality agreement with Tesla would undoubtedly scare other companies away.
Considering the number of jobs created by this factory, and the probable Pied Piper effect on suppliers, as seen in Fremont, landing the Gigafactory is tantamount to gaining a new city in your state, and boosting your state’s image as a cradle of American ingenuity. Since only one state will win the entire prize and the others won’t even get a $10 gift certificate to Wendy’s, this is no time to expect teamwork.
* Oh brother
** Oh brother