United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Bay Area Council have sided with Tesla and Elon Musk, citing that the Fremont factory's reopening would likely help the economy in the surrounding area, which has been ravaged by the virus.
The Fremont factory's reopening has been a hot debate since Alameda County declared that the company could not resume operations in its main electric vehicle factory. Thus far, many prominent figures have sided with Elon Musk and Tesla, including the Mayor of Fremont and Palo Alto.
On Monday, Mnuchin encouraged states to begin reopening their economies in an interview with CNBC. As an example, he brought up Tesla’s dispute with Alameda County over the reopening of Fremont.
“They need to solve those health issues so he [Elon Musk] can open quickly, safely or they’re gonna find he’s [Elon Musk] moving production to a different state,” said the US Secretary of the Treasury.
The Bay Area Council issued a similar statement and referred to the adverse economic effects of keeping company’s like Tesla from reopening for business. The President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, Jim Wunderman, said:
“California and the Bay Area are demonstrating every day that we can protect public health and reopen our economy at the same time. We strongly urge Alameda County public health officials to work with Tesla and other employers in figuring out a plan that can allow them to safely resume operations sooner rather than later."
Wunderman explained the Bay Area Council's reasoning behind its support for Tesla, saying:
"We must send a strong signal to businesses and the millions of workers who have lost their jobs that the Bay Area and California are just as eager to restart our economy and get people back to work as we are to stamp out this pandemic. The economic pain from this shutdown is historic, profound and intense, and is taking a huge toll on state and local government budgets that is going to reverberate for years to come. California has already signaled by moving to Stage 2 that the difficult actions we’ve taken to combat COVID-19 are working, and we’re confident that Alameda County can follow the same path.”
Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County for its continued efforts to keep Fremont closed. The EV automaker lists three main reasons for the lawsuit.
- Alameda County’s orders violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it fails to give reasonable notice to persons of ordinary intelligence of what is forbidden under the law.
- Alameda County’s orders discriminate against identically situated parties without any rational basis and thereby violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
- Tesla cites California Constitution Article XI, § 7, which states: a county may only “make and enforce within its limits…ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.”
Featured Image Credit: Tesla
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Ma. Claribelle Deveza
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.