Published on May 22nd, 2020 | by Johnna Crider
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May 22nd, 2020 by Johnna Crider
By Johnna Crider and Zach Shahan
“Big Oil” states such as Texas and Oklahoma have a very powerful message for Elon Musk: We Want Tesla! In a weird, tripped out version of reality in which “green” or liberal California is suddenly at odds with Tesla, states that produce most of our domestic oil, particularly Texas (the top oil producing state) and Oklahoma (#4), are welcoming Elon Musk and Tesla with open arms.
— tulsaworld (@tulsaworld) May 20, 2020
In Tulsa, the famous Golden Driller statue of an oilman has been remade into Elon Musk. Tulsa used to be the oil capital of the world and once sat on top of the world’s largest known oil reserves. The Titanic Oil Man was built by an oilfield supply company from Texas, and in 1953 Oil Man was set up for a trade show at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. Tesmanian reports that Tulsa’s Mayor, G.T. Bynum, would even make the Cybertruck the city’s local police vehicle if Tesla chooses them for its next gigafactory.
— G.T. Bynum (@gtbynum) May 17, 2020
Many people think Texas seems like the ideal choice, and there has been speculation that Tesla has either bought 1,500 acres of land in Austin or is thinking about doing so. Texas has a lot of land, a large population, fairly lax regulations, and Elon is familiar with it due to the Boca Chica SpaceX launch facility in Brownsville, TX.
Tulsa’s doing it’s best to attract Tesla as well, though.
Tesla As Eye Candy For Oil States Means What, Exactly?
Tesla’s new role as eye candy for oil states means that Tesla, an electric carmaker that also specializes in solar energy and batteries, has done an amazing thing. The main goal of Tesla is to accelerate our transition to sustainable energy. Bringing in states that were once staunchly opposed to this idea is major good news.
This may also help those who believe that climate change is a hoax to go beyond their normal circles and get a Tesla. When you have states such as Texas and Oklahoma — states that are historically oil states and represent big oil or the support of big oil–welcoming Tesla to come and set up its fifth Gigafactory, that has to mean expanding demand, a broadening market for Tesla. It shows just how far Tesla has come in doing what it has set out to do.
If someone had told you 10 years ago that Texas and Oklahoma would be fighting over an electric car company — in particular, a giant factory from that company — would you have believed them? Furthermore, this isn’t even the first time Texas tried to win the company over. It was considered a finalist in the running for the first gigafactory, which Nevada ended up landing. This time around, though, it is a bit more clear that Tesla has built something phenomenal and isn’t going anywhere. Back when the first gigafactory was simply a plan, many expected it would never be built and a large portion of the market expected Tesla to go bankrupt before 2020. We now know how that turned out.
Texas is considered the most likely location for Gigafactory 5. If it does become the location of potentially the largest electric vehicle and battery factory on the planet — while also being 1st in the US for wind power capacity and 4th for solar power capacity — will its cultural image (and politics) shift? We’ll see.