Texas joins Utah, Nevada, Georgia to lure Tesla after Musk threatens to leave California

Musk said the move by Alameda County to not clear Tesla's Fremont factory for reopening was 'the final straw'

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox.  Sign up here.

Continue Reading Below

Texas has joined Utah, Nevada and Georgia to encourage Tesla CEO Elon Musk to follow through on his threat to move the company's headquarters after the billionaire said the company would file a lawsuit against Alameda County, California, for keeping its coronavirus stay-at-home order in place through May 31.

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave the green light for the state to move into phase 2 of its reopening plan, allowing retailers with curbside pickup to begin a phased opening on Friday. The order also allows manufacturers in the state to resume operations, which Musk said the electric vehicle manufacturer would be taking advantage of on Thursday.

"In light of Governor Gavin Newsom's statement earlier today approving manufacturing in California, we will aim to restart production in Fremont tomorrow afternoon," Musk said.

But the order does not override Alameda County's stay-at-home guidelines, and according to the county's health officer Erica Pan, Tesla had not been cleared by the county's health department to reopen its Fremont facility.

TESLA WORKERS SPOTTED ARRIVING AT FREMONT PLANT AFTER ELON MUSK TWITTER ERUPTION

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks March 9, 2020, at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

"We have not given the green light," Pan said. "We have been working with them...but no, we have not said that we think that it is appropriate for them to move forward."

The response from Pan sent Musk into a Twitter rant Saturday.

"Frankly, this is the final straw," Musk tweeted. "Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future."

Musk went on to call the local health official "ignorant" in a separate tweet, and encouraged Tesla shareholders to file a class-action lawsuit in another.

"Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe through our Tesla China factory experience than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County," he added in another tweet.

CORONAVIRUS RECOVERY COULD BE QUICKEST IN THESE CITIES

Following Musk's tweets, San Diego assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez had some choice words for the entrepreneur.

"F**k Elon Musk," the California Democrat tweeted Saturday.

Gonzalez's statement drew both praise and condemnation, particularly from people who pointed out the number of job losses if the Tesla factory moves. Tesla's Freemont factory employs 10,000 people.

Unlike Gonzalez, Texas and Nevada Republicans have been quick to embrace Musk's plans.

"Texas gets better every day. Good conservative principles make good governance, and attract the best and the brightest. The future is happening in Texas," Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted Saturday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson also were looking to woo Musk to move Tesla's headquarters to the Lone Star State.

Abott simply replied with a wide-eyed emoji to Musk's consideration to move to Texas "immediately" while Johnson was looking to land the headquarters in the southern part of his own city.

"Dallas bound, I hope. Southern Dallas, preferably," Johnson tweeted Saturday. "We think big here and we never take our eye off the future, even during a pandemic. I'm committed to protecting both lives and livelihoods in our great city!"

Nevada congressional hopeful Dan Rodimer tweeted: "Nevada NEEDS these jobs most of all right now, @elonmusk. We would love to have you and Tesla HQ right here in the Battleborn State!"

Spencer Cox and Jody Hice (Getty Images)

Also adding their states to the list were Georgia U.S. Rep. Jody Hice and Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

"Hey @elonmusk, I hope you consider Georgia — named the best state to do business 7 years in a row," Hice said.

Cox said Utah "talk[s] to Tesla regularly and are very engaged with them on bringing more business to Utah."

ELON MUSK TWEETS ABOUT PUTTING MINECRAFT, POKEMON GO IN TESLAS

Musk has been a vocal critic of California's stay-at-home orders.

"The extent of shelter in place or frankly what I would call it forcibly imprisoning people in their homes is against all their constitutional rights ... and erasing peoples freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why people came to America or built this country, what the f--k," Musk said during Tesla's earnings call.

"It will cause great harm not just to Tesla but to many companies and while Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not," he warned. "Everything that people worked for their whole life is being destroyed in real-time."

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Newsom has defended the state's handling of the coronavirus and said that "good people can disagree."

“Good people can disagree, and we've been guided by science, data [and] facts not only on the ground here in the state of California, across this country, but guided by the prevalence of this disease around the rest of the world,” Newsom said during a briefing on April 30.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

This article, originally published May 10, has been updated.