It may not mean much in the long term (the White House has a history of dismissing some of the We The People petitions), but the Tesla-backed grassroots petition asking the federal government to "allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states" has hit the required 100,000 signatures. And, like the automaker's DOE loan repayment, the magic number was reached well before the deadline.
Sometime today, the 100,000th person signed the petition and there are currently over 107,000 signatures on record. The petition remains open until Friday, July 5. Last weekend, Tesla got behind the petition, which was started by a Tesla fan with the initials K.S. from Stow, MA.
We'll keep an eye on the White House petition response website to see if the direct sales request gets any real feedback. Direct OEM sales is an issue that's being discussed in the courts around the country – in New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts, for example. But the White House reserves the right to effectively ignore any petition, even one that gets enough signatures. The official rules say:
The White House plans to respond to each petition that crosses the signature threshold, which you can view on the Terms of Participation page. In a few rare cases (such as specific procurement, law enforcement, or adjudicatory matters), the White House response might not address the facts of a particular matter to avoid exercising improper influence. In addition, the White House will not respond to petitions that violate We the People's Terms of Participation. In some cases, a single response may be used for similar petitions.
Time will tell.