Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma called on lawmakers to pass a huge financial incentive package that is supposed to attract an unidentified company with ties to the electric vehicle (EV) industry to the state, according to a report from Fortune and local news outlet News 9. A confidentiality agreement prohibited Governor Stitt from disclosing the name of the company and the amount of money promised for the package, but there is good reason to believe this company may be Panasonic.
“Tens of billions of dollars will be invested over the next five to seven years in this space, and we want Oklahoma to be the place these people land,” Governor Stitt said at a news conference. “But I’ll tell you this, if I don’t get it passed, it won’t happen.”
Shortly after Stitt’s introduction to state lawmakers, the Oklahoma House Budget and Appropriations Joint Committee introduced HB 4455 to the Senate, a bill that provides $698 million in rebates and incentives to businesses that reach certain thresholds linked to job creation and capital spending.
Oklahoma is about to secure a multi-million dollar investment that will have a generational impact on our state.
Let’s work together to push this across the finish line and get it done! pic.twitter.com/DNJrCeJizc
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) April 18, 2022
In March, an anonymous source told a Japanese newsgroup NHK (via Bloomberg) that Panasonic is looking to build a factory in Kansas or Oklahoma to make lithium-ion car batteries for Tesla. Panasonic previously announced plans to begin mass-producing Tesla’s new batteries by the end of March 2024, ramping up production by building two additional production lines at its Wakayama factory in Japan. the edge He reached out to Panasonic with a request for comment but did not immediately hear back.
as pointed out Fortuneeven other representatives are unaware that the Oklahoma company designs the red carpet, leaving some frustrated.
“The governor hasn’t told us about the bill, and it’s very concerning that he’s asking us to support something without giving us the number or the language of the bill,” said Emily Virgin, House Minority Leader. Oklahoma (via Fortune).
Oklahoma is competing with neighboring Kansas for Panasonic’s purported factory deal. In February, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed into law a $4 billion “megaproject plan” that provides incentives to large corporations. Oklahoma launched a massive (meme-filled) campaign to bring a Tesla Gigafactory to the state in 2020 and lost to Texas.