Tesla wants tax money for the largest battery factory in the world. This news comes as a surprise to the state of Brandenburg, among others. The Tesla battery factory is to be built in Grünheide right next to the Gigafactory for electric cars. According to press reports, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has allowed the US corporation to “provisionally begin measures”, albeit at its own risk.
“This confirms our worst fears. It is a scandal that even more land is now to be concreted over without an application being submitted. Tesla is trying to make a profit at the expense of European taxpayers. The protection of water, people and nature at the site is falling by the wayside just like the rule of law!” Christian Rechholz, Federal Chairman of the ÖDP, is particularly disappointed with the Federal Minister of Economics. “How can Peter Altmaier (CDU) ignore the concerns of many citizens of Brandenburg about the drinking water and the endangering of a nature reserve and allow the US corporation another ‘provisional start of measures’, at its own risk? We should not forget that there is still no final building permit for the electric car factory.”
Scientists have long warned of extreme drought, especially in Brandenburg. Alone the ongoing construction of the gigafactory for the electric cars is a threat to the drinking water protection area upon which it is being built. “With the additional construction of the world’s largest battery factory, Brandenburg and Berlin will finally be left high and dry. But you can’t simply sacrifice our precious drinking water for profit,” says Christian Rechholz. “This gigantomania endangers people and nature in Brandenburg and Berlin!”
Manuela Ripa, the MEP of the ÖDP, also warns about the approach of the Federal Ministry of Economics: “Very close attention must now be paid to ensuring that no European environmental law is broken in Brandenburg, as was already the case with the neighbouring gigafactory,” says the EU politician. “The planned battery factory and the gigafactory, which has so far been built only on the basis of provisional building permits, are located in a drinking water protection area that is important for the region. Here, the German authorities have a responsibility to check very carefully whether the safety of the drinking water will be affected. In view of the aggressive approach we have already had to observe with the gigafactory, the situation is highly alarming.” The MEP points to the cascade of prior approvals leading to faits accomplis. “There is clearly a pattern of cheating to get past the current law in order to end up with a state of affairs that is no longer traceable. This scam grossly violates the principles of the rule of law.”
Manuela Ripa had already in September had confirmation from the EU Commission, in response to a parliamentary question, that the German authorities should have carried out a comprehensive impact assessment for the Tesla gigafactory in Brandenburg. However, this did not happen. “Here, too, the end does not justify the means: the drinking water supply of citizens must not be endangered in the name of innovation.“