Austin may be at the front of the pack to land the next Tesla "Gigafactory," but CEO Elon Musk just demonstrated that the competition is far from over.
Musk visited Tulsa—Austin's main rival—last week, where he met with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Commerce Sean Kouplen. "We have the challenge of Tulsa being less known than Austin and getting his team comfortable with us as their potential site," Kouplen told the Tulsa World.
We had a great visit with @elonmusk yesterday talking @Tesla in Tulsa! Oklahoma is the right place for Tesla and I… https://t.co/zYmZ1nxZ3P— Governor Kevin Stitt (@Governor Kevin Stitt) 1593868853.0
The visit followed months of speculation over which city Tesla will choose to locate its next Gigafactory, which will manufacture the company's Cybertruck and promises at least 5,000 new jobs.
What Tulsa offers
Tulsa promises an economic incentives package, pro-business climate and established manufacturing workforce, but terms of the package are considered confidential under state law, making it impossible to compare its offerings with those on the table in Austin.
When asked for more details about the incentives, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce declined to comment.
Tulsa's biggest asset may be naked enthusiasm about the project—as evidenced by multiple social media campaigns, including Tulsa Says Yes, Austin Says No, #Tesla4Tulsa and Big F*cking Field, which touts the benefits of a 1,500-acre site and offers it to Musk for a refundable $100 deposit.
During a June 30 town hall, Tulsa Regional Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said one of the biggest differentiators between his city and Austin is attitude. "We really want Tesla bad," he said. "We really, really, really want them and are going to do everything we possibly can to lure them here."
What Austin offers
Rohan Patel, Tesla's senior global director for public policy and business development, told Travis County commissioners that Austin "has risen to the top in our search" because of its diverse workforce, the proposed factory site in Southeast Travis County and a potential partnership with Del Valle ISD.
But Patel also said the incentives—a 10-year, $68 million deal with Del Valle ISD and a 20-year deal of an undisclosed amount with Travis County—are necessary.
There is enthusiasm for the deal in Austin, but union officials and concerned residents have also asked officials to consider the company's spotty history of reneging on incentives agreements, workplace safety and employee protections.
When Gov. Stitt tweeted a link to the former on June 30, it prompted a response from Musk.
"Wow, I've never seen this level of support!" he wrote. "Out of respect, seems like I should at least visit."
@GovStitt @Tesla Wow, I’ve never seen this level of support! Out of respect, seems like I should at least visit.— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk) 1593641556.0
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Austin police are investigating the killing of Moriah "Mo" Wilson after she was found with gunshot wounds inside an Austin home.
Wilson, a gravel and mountain bike racer, was visiting Austin from Colorado in preparation for the Gravel Locos race on Saturday taking place in Hico, a small town 2 hours from Austin.
On Wednesday, her roommate came home and found Wilson unresponsive with "a lot of blood near her,” police said. It is now being investigated as a suspicious death. No further information on the suspect or motive behind the killing are available at this time.
Wilson recently had become a full-time biker after winning a slew of races in the past year.
Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.