Capitol Alert

Tesla gigafactory legislation unlikely, Sen. Gaines says

Proposed legislation to help woo electric car manufacturer Tesla’s $5 billion battery gigafactory to California will not emerge before lawmakers finish their work for the year, state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, said Friday.

Gaines, the co-author of a possible Tesla incentive bill, said months of negotiations between the Brown administration and the car company have failed to produce agreement and, “It doesn’t appear that Tesla’s coming to the table.

“We are making good-faith efforts. We are trying to make sure that any deal we put together is supportable and makes sense,” Gaines said. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”

The Brown administration’s Office of Business and Economic Development, has led the talks with Tesla. In a statement Friday, senior Brown advisor Mike Rossi said, “The Administration continues to engage in productive conversations with Tesla and remains optimistic that we can reach an agreement that meets our common goal of adding jobs in California.”

The two-year legislative session ends Aug. 31, but lawmakers are expected to finish their work early Saturday. A Tesla incentive bill could emerge early in the 2015-16 session, which begins Dec. 1.

California is one of several states in the running for the gigafactory, with Texas, Nevada and Arizona also competing for the plant. The factory would create an estimated 6,500 jobs, and Stockton and Mather Airport’s business park are among the spots mentioned as possible California destinations.

Last month, Brown signed tax credit legislation meant to help attract a strategic bomber production line to California. The measure, AB 2389, also included language to help certain types of other companies, including battery manufacturers.

Tesla chief Elon Musk, who attended the Burning Man festival in northern Nevada earlier this week, has not said anything publicly about the talks with California. Tesla spokeswoman Elizabeth Jarvis-Sheanfor said Friday that the company had “no updates to provide at this point.”

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 6 p.m. Aug. 29 to include comment from Mike Rossi and Tesla.

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