Tesla CEO Elon Musk vented on social media Saturday about Alameda County public health orders preventing Fremont’s Tesla plant from resuming production, and threatened to file a lawsuit and move operations to another state.
Musk posted on Twitter:
“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately.”
Musk targeted Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan, who maintained Friday that production at the Tesla plant could not yet resume.
“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.”
The county’s health department issued a statement Saturday afternoon, saying that it had been working closely with Tesla in a:
“… collaborative, good faith effort to develop and implement a safety plan that allows for reopening while protecting the health and well-being of the thousands of employees who travel to and from work at Tesla’s factory.”
Although the department didn’t announce lifting restrictions, the statement said:
“… we look forward to coming to an agreement on an appropriate safety plan very soon.”
The department said many businesses and residents had made sacrifices to protect community health:
“It is our collective responsibility to move through the phases of reopening and loosening the restrictions of the Shelter-in-Place Order in he safest way possible, guided by data and science.”
Fremont mayor Lily Mei on Saturday issued a statement urging county officials to work with businesses, seeming to support Musk:
“As the local shelter-in-place order continues without provisions for major manufacturing activity, such as Tesla, to resume, I am growing concerned about the potential implications for our regional economy. .. We know many essential businesses have proven they can successfully operate using strict safety and social distancing practices. I strongly believe these same practices could be possible for other manufacturing businesses, especially those that are so critical to our employment base.”
Mei said she wanted to the county to engage with local businesses and come up with ways to reopen.