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California Governor Gavin Newsom snaps back to Elon Musk after Tesla confirms move to Texas

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California Governor Gavin Newsom took a shot at Tesla after Elon Musk’s announcement that the company would move its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas, following a promise he made more than a year ago for the company. first did in response to the state’s strict COVID guidelines.

A spokeswoman for Newsom said in a statement that California “stands up for workers, public health and a woman’s right to choose,” citing Texas’ abortion ban after the first six weeks, adding that the Golden State is still ‘home to the biggest ideas and companies in the world.’

Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott welcomed Tesla and tweeted, “The Lone Star State is the land of opportunity and innovation. Welcome.’

Musk said Tesla, which has been in Silicon Valley since 2003, has outgrown its Fremont factory after more than a year of infighting with local and state officials over COVID mandates and high taxes.

“It’s like we’re spam in a can here,” he said, adding that affordable housing is scarce and many workers have long commutes.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Elon Musk confirmed Thursday that Tesla will move its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas. Newsom criticized move amid controversy over Lone Star State law banning abortions after six weeks

The company's Austin car assembly plant (pictured above) is under construction and borders the Colorado River

The company’s Austin car assembly plant (pictured above) is under construction and borders the Colorado River

Many also took to Twitter to criticize Tesla’s move amid Texas’ abortion law.

Texas law leaves enforcement solely to private individuals, who have the right to collect $10,000 in damages if they file successful lawsuits against not just abortion providers who violate the restrictions, but anyone who helps a woman have an abortion.

Hundreds of marches took place last week against the law, which was recently blocked by a federal judge.

Twitter user Jo Ann Aaronson wrote: “Straight to a state trying to ban abortion. I just lost all respect for Tesla and Elon Musk.”

Another Twitter user with the handle lupine wrote: “If there’s one thing that would make me move out of Texas, it’s the news that Musk is setting up shop there.

“Texas no longer needs someone with ‘I’m the center of the universe’ syndrome.”

Twitter user RWS added: ‘Billionaire moves headquarters to avoid taxes!! is slightly more accurate.’

People took to Twitter to criticize Tesla's move to Texas

People took to Twitter to criticize Tesla’s move to Texas

Hundreds of marches took place across the country last week against Texas abortion law

Hundreds of marches took place across the country last week against Texas abortion law

Others also came forward to defend Musk, criticizing California’s strict COVID mandates and high taxes for sending Tesla away.

Until we change policies that drive out businesses, we will continue to lose jobs and disrupt families in California. We need to do better,” wrote former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Another Twitter user with the handle mkypwr23 wrote, “Musk is no fool, he knows he can’t trust the state of California anymore.”

Twitter user Imyerdada simply wrote, “California has gone downhill.”

Others defended the move, claiming California policies were to blame for the move

Others defended the move, claiming California policies were to blame for the move

Musk noted that while the headquarters moved to Texas, Telsa’s factories would remain and grow in California.

“To be clear, we will continue to expand our operations in California, so this is not a matter of Tesla exiting California,” he noted, adding that the company plans to increase production in California and Nevada by 50 percent. .

Tesla has also recently begun work on a “megafactory” in Lathrop, California, where it will produce Megapacks, an energy storage product, Bloomberg reports.

Tesla is building its facility in Lathrop to create a new 'mega-factory'

Tesla is building its facility in Lathrop to create a new ‘mega-factory’

In Texas, Musk said, “Our factory is about five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown and we’re going to create an ecological paradise here.”

While he didn’t provide a timeline of when Tesla’s Texas headquarters will be operational, he noted that it takes less time to build a factory than it does to achieve large-scale production.

He said the Texas plant will be very similar to Tesla’s Shanghai plant, which was built in 11 months and reached major production after a year.

In December, Musk personally moved to Texas after living in California for two decades. By moving to Texas, Musk was able to get closer to the launch site of his space company SpaceX in Boca Chica and reduce his personal tax burden.

California has some of the highest personal income taxes in the country for its wealthy residents, but Texas has no personal income taxes.

Musk said California is not that affordable and its employees have long commutes.  Above is Tesla's main car factory in Fremont, California

Musk said California is not that affordable and its employees have long commutes. Above is Tesla’s main car factory in Fremont, California

Musk first made public mention of his plan to leave California for Texas in a series of outraged tweets in May 2020 after a California state health official said the factory could not reopen amid the coronavirus shutdown.

The disgruntled CEO took to a comment thread on Twitter to share that he also plans to file a lawsuit against Alameda County.

Musk’s anger was directed at Alameda County Health Officer Erica Pan, who said the Fremont company would not be able to reopen despite California Governor Gavin Newsom lifting some coronavirus restrictions at the time.

“Honestly, this is the last straw. Tesla will now immediately move its headquarters and future programs to Texas/Nevada,” he said in a tweet on May 9, 2020.

“If we keep Fremont’s manufacturing business at all, it will depend on how Tesla is treated going forward. Tesla is the last automaker in CA.”

Musk first teased the move to Texas early in the coronavirus pandemic in response to California's strict reopening guidelines.  The disgruntled CEO took to a comment thread on Twitter about his opposition to the state's reopening rules

Musk first teased the move to Texas early in the coronavirus pandemic in response to California’s strict reopening guidelines. The disgruntled CEO took to a comment thread on Twitter about his opposition to the state’s reopening rules

In a separate tweet, he threatened to sue Alameda County over the restrictions

In a separate tweet, he threatened to sue Alameda County over the restrictions

In a separate tweet, he wrote: “Tesla is immediately filing a lawsuit against Alameda County. The unelected and ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting in violation of the Governor, the President, our constitutional freedoms and common sense!’

The dispute came a week after Musk criticized state officials over lockdown orders he called “fascist” and unconstitutional.

Tesla’s move to Texas from California follows that of other tech giants such as Oracle and Hewlett Packard. Texas has brought in businesses by offering tax breaks to those who place new facilities in the state through the Texas Economic Development Act.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott praised Musk’s plans to move Tesla to Texas last month, saying in a CNBC interview that the two talk often and that Musk supports his state’s “social policies.”

His statement came a day after Texas introduced its strict abortion law that prohibits termination of pregnancy after a fetal heartbeat is detected within six weeks. A federal judge has since ordered a temporary ban on the country’s strictest abortion ban.

Musk shied away from making his views known on the subject.

“In general, I believe that government should seldom impose its will on the people, striving to maximize their cumulative happiness. That said, I’d rather stay out of politics,” he said.

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