It's funny how the prospect of a $5-billion investment in a state has the ability to focus minds. Take Texas, for example. The Lone Star State has long had laws prohibiting automakers from selling directly to consumers, even if the manufacturer didn't already sell through franchise dealerships.
Last year, a bill went to the legislature that would have allowed Tesla Motors to sell directly to its customers, but despite entreaties and a visit from CEO Elon Musk, lawmakers didn't pass it. Sure, Texans can still buy the a Model S, but the process is a bit cumbersome. With the prospect of an expensive battery gigafactory and the jobs it would bring, however, Texas Governor Rick Perry taken to the
To be fair, the one-time Republican Presidential hopeful has been in favor of Tesla's sales model for some time. The difference now is he is being proactively vocal about it. Appearing on Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo, Perry spent close to eight minutes pitching a new approach to dealership laws in his state, at one point referring to the traditional dealer model as "antiquated" and encouraging legislators to have an "open and thoughtful" conversation and decide whether or not they want to lead the country when it comes to manufacturing.
If you think that he has become warm and fuzzy about environmental issues, Perry reminds us after a brief discussion on 2014 and 2016 elections – yes, he may run again – that he has no qualms about continuing to rely on fossil fuels, stating that he thinks the most important thing the federal government can do to impact the economy right now is to "say yes" to the Keystone XL pipeline. You can view the segment in its entirety be simply scrolling below.