WSJ: Unions Are Successfully Pushing California Dems Away From Tesla

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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California’s stout unions are launching successful campaigns against Tesla as the electric vehicle maker tries to make inroads in the Golden State, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Democrats in the state have chosen to throw their lot in with The United Automobile Workers and toss electric vehicle behemoth Tesla to the wolves, The WSJ’s Editorial Board noted Wednesday.

“California Democrats have finally found a cause that’s worth suspending their environmental passions,” WSJ wrote Wednesday, referring to a piece of legislation passed earlier this month that directly targets Tesla’s so-called poor treatment of workers.

WSJ’s editorial board was responding to an amendment to a California program requiring manufacturers verify that they are “fair and responsible in their treatment of workers” before they can take advantage of a $2,500 rebate encouraging citizens buy Tesla vehicles.

The legislation was a shot across the bow of Tesla, a company that relied on a $82.5 million subsidy from the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, which gives extra incentive to 32,842 Tesla buyers in seven years.

California’s legislature defeated a pair of bills that would have required all electricity in the state to come from non-carbon sources by 2045. Unions vehemently opposed the bill, primarily because they feared the bill didn’t do enough to help protect union workers.

The bill was derailed despite California’s huge Democratic margins in both houses and a governor in Jerry Brown who consistently promotes himself as a climate change warrior. Activists were disappointed that unions stymied the effort.

“It’s a political setback, but it is not going to stop the momentum in California,” Kathryn Phillips, a lobbyist for the Sierra Club, told reporters. “Fortunately, the public understands better than the Legislature that we don’t have time to waste.”

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