White House Won’t Help Tesla, or Build a Death Star

On July 11, the White House applauded Tesla’s innovation, but refused to make it easier for you to buy one.

That was their response to a petition on the White House’s “We The People” site. The petition, filed back in June 2013, asked to “allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states” and was signed by 138,469 people.

Currently, laws regulating auto sales are making it difficult for Tesla to break into the dealership model. These laws fall under state legislation, not federal, which is why the White House is unwilling to intervene.

An excerpt from the response from the White House spokesperson, Don Utech reads:

“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.”

Despite many feeling the status quo unfairly protects automobile dealers from healthy competition, the White House stopped short of urging Congress to look into the issue.

Shortly after this statement from the White House, Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Corporate and Business Development for Tesla Motors provided a rather humorous response to Jalopnik:

“…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…”

The full White House response to the petition can be read here, and Tesla’s full reply is available here.

How do you feel about the White House’s handling of the petition? Was it fair or are they hurting the country’s economic and environmental growth?

Consumer Expert Mike Ratcliffe

I am a freelance writer. I've been happily married for...a while now, and I'm a father of 2. I enjoy injuring myself in the name of sport, love driving but hate commuting, and can't get enough of Star Wars.