How desperate are the states in the US Southwest for a Tesla Gigafactory? Maybe a little too desperate, according to the California Budget Project. CBP says that the five states that are vying for the new big battery plant from Tesla and Panasonic are really in a "a race to the bottom from which no real winner may emerge." The CBP issued an open letter to leaders in those states that called for "greater openness in the process, strong accountability measures, and cooperation – not competition – among the states."
Basically, what CBP is saying is that Tesla is trying to get too good a deal from whichever of the five states (Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, California or Arizona) will be picked for the Gigafactory to be built (well, the first one, at least). We have known for a long time that these states are fighting amongst themselves, and the CBP says that even though the Gigafactory is "undoubtedly a valuable source of economic growth for its eventual home state," since the public bidding process starts at $500 million in subsidies, the five states 'have more to gain from cooperation than from competition." After all, Tesla has made it clear that it needs the Gigafacatory to make its cheaper EV a reality, so CBP is suggesting that the states communicate with each other so that no one offers too many tax breaks in the "harmful pattern of one state 'winning' a high-profile competition." The $500 million could be better spent on other things, CBP argues, and wonders if Tesla would be "receptive to a multi-state dialogue." Your Houston News notes that Tesla is asking the states "not to discuss their offers, and states aren't talking."
Tesla did not have anything more to add to AutoblogGreen, but the company has said that an official announcement on the location of the first Gigafactory is coming toward the end of this year. For now, you can read CBP's open letter in full below.