Tesla rips White House for ‘timid’ response to petition

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For now, the White House is staying out of the battle between Tesla Motors and state lawmakers across the country.

Tesla, the electric automaker who has seen its stock nearly double since November, has been engaging in battles with state legislators over how they sell their cars. Tesla sells its vehicles online, directly to its consumers, which has resulted in the automaker facing off with state legislatures, who have been blocking the ability to sell cars online and directly to consumers.

Tesla has been engaging in a lengthy battle in New Jersey to be able to sell its vehicles there.

So naturally, a White House petition at was started in an attempt to settle things once and for all.

It reads:

States should not be allowed to prevent Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to customers. The state legislators are trying to unfairly protect automobile dealers in their states from competition. Tesla is providing competition, which is good for consumers.

After getting the required signatures for a response, the White House has officially responded. And the federal government has no interest in getting involved in state’s business when it comes to auto sales, even if it does involve something the administration has pushed — energy independence and efficiency.

“But as you know, laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level,” said Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. “We believe in the goal of improving consumer choice for American families, including more vehicles that provide savings at the pump for consumers. However, we understand that pre-empting current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales would require an act of Congress.”

Tesla, as you can imagine, isn’t pleased with the roadblocks they’ve encountered, and released the following statement from Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Corporate and Business Development:

“138,469 people signed the petition asking the White House to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states. More than a year later, at 7.30pm EST on Friday as most of America prepared for the weekend, the White House released its disappointing response to those people. Rather than seize an opportunity to promote innovation and support the first successful American car company to be started in more than a century, the White House issued a response that was even more timid than its rejection of a petition to begin construction of a Death Star. Instead of showing the sort of leadership exhibited by senior officials at the Federal Trade Commission who declared their support forconsumer freedom of choice, the White House merely passed the buck to Congress and trumpeted its advances in promoting vehicle efficiency. Given the economic and environmental principles at stake, we would have hoped for stronger leadership and more action.

h/t: The Hill

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