When plans were announced for a solar panel manufacturing plant in South Buffalo, then-Governor Andrew Cuomo described the project as a “game changer.” Based on the promise of not only a gleaming new plant and more than 1,400 jobs, but a whole new clean energy sector that would employ thousands more. Cuomo poured nearly $1 billion of state tax dollars into building and equipping the project.
Has it delivered as promised?
Investigative Post’s J. Dale Shoemaker dug deep to answer that question. Officials from Tesla refused requests for interview. Bureaucrats with the state economic development agency that oversees the project did the same. They went further, slow walking requests for records submitted under the Freedom of Information Law.
Documents revealed thousands of pages of records and emails, many of them culled from a lawsuit shareholders had filed against Tesla CEO Elon Musk. More answers came through interviews with Tesla employees and industry analysts.
Shoemaker’s conclusion: Tesla has not delivered as promised.
He sat down with Garrett Looker, host of our podcast series, to talk about his reporting.
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