Elon Musk ‘Likes The Social Policies’ In Texas According To Governor Amid Abortion Furor
Texas Governor Greg Abbott says billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk “likes the social policies” in the state amid a furor over its adoption of a strict new abortion law, following its tighter laws on voting and a loosening of gun rules.
The state, which in recent years has convinced companies such as Toyota to move U.S. operations from suburban Los Angeles and lured Apple to invest in a massive new campus in Austin, won’t see a decline in businesses moving to Texas, Abbott told CNBC today. He predicted the state’s policies on social issues, rather than scaring away companies, will become a draw, pointing to Musk, who moved to Austin in 2020. Currently, Tesla is building a new plant near Austin and SpaceX is expanding launch and production operations at its “Starbase” in Boca Chica, in south Texas.
“Elon had to get out of California because in part of the social policies in California,” Abbott said in the interview, noting that he speaks with Musk frequently. “Elon consistently tells me that he liked the social policies in the state of Texas.”
Musk, without directly commenting on Abbott’s remarks, said on Twitter that he believes “government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness. That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics.”
Texas has been a powerful draw for corporations seeking lower taxes and lighter regulation, particularly relative to states such as California for many years. It remains to be seen whether controversial policies Abbott and Texas legislators have promoted dim the state’s appeal for companies. The state’s ability to attract some skilled workers may be a bit diminished owing to its abortion rule, however. A poll by PerryUndem found that 66% of college-educated workers surveyed said they would not take a job in a state with the restrictions imposed by Texas.
Along with restricting abortion, voter access and allowing anyone 21 or older to carry a handgun without a permit, training or license, Abbott has also worked to block public schools from requiring masks to stem the spread of Covid-19 and supported limits on what public school teachers can discuss with regard to current events and systemic racism.
Though Musk has moved from Los Angeles, Tesla’s biggest auto plant is in Fremont, California, and SpaceX headquarters, for now at least, remain in Hawthorne, California.
During the early days of the pandemic last year, Musk grew infuriated when local health officials set restrictions on operations at the Fremont plant, leading him to rant in an earnings call about local stay-at-home efforts that he called “fascist.” Tesla later filed a suit against Alameda County over the restrictions in early May 2020, but soon dropped it.
Though says he prefers to stay out of politics, that’s not always the case. Notably, he joined a business council created by Donald Trump in the early days of his presidency in 2017 (he quit the group in June 2017 after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord). More recently, he was joined at a tour of Tesla’s Giga Berlin plant in August by Armin Laschet, the leading conservative candidate seeking to succeed Angela Merkel as Germany’s next chancellor. Construction of the Tesla plant there appears to be complete, yet the start of production of electric vehicles there remains unclear owing to delays in securing regulatory approvals to do so.
Published at Thu, 02 Sep 2021 19:21:17 +0000
Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2021/09/02/elon-musk-likes-the-social-policies-in-texas-according-to-governor-amid-abortion-furor/