Latest Updates and News

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October 25, 2022: Rivian project hit with state violation, local lawsuit in dirt pollution controversy – SaportaReport
* … the agencies began site clearance by avoiding wetlands and waterways while awaiting permitting under the federal Clean Water Act and state statutes. The agencies have not directly explained why they chose to proceed with clearance and grading despite the incentives issue and until permitting is complete.” *

October 25, 2022: Anti-Rivian group slaps JDA, Morgan County with zoning lawsuit to halt EV plant – Morgan County Citizen
* The lawsuit alleges that although the site for Rivian is owned by the State of Georgia, the project should still be subject to local zoning ordinances, standards, and processes. The suit claims Rivian is a for-profit business that will not operate as a “state-function” and therefore, should not be exempt from local zoning laws. The State of Georgia took ownership of the site with the intent to lease the property to Rivian as a way to circumvent local zoning laws, since the state is typically exempt from such laws. *

Click here to read the latest lawsuit filed against the JDA and Morgan County

October 21, 2022: Rivian opponents sue to halt excavation work on Georgia EV plant site – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
* Residents near the future $5 billion Rivian electric vehicle plant sued Friday to try to stop grading work on the property, alleging the site isn’t properly zoned and that local officials are turning a blind eye. *

October 18, 2022: Dirt pollution complaints at controversial Rivian site underline critics’ environmental concerns – SaportaReport
* For the state and JDA to release a written statement like this, only emphasizes the level of contempt they have for our communities -> Excerpt from the article “The co-developers on Rivian’s behalf are the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties (JDA). In a joint written statement, they did not explain exactly why they are proceeding with site clearing despite the bond and permitting status, only that they are legally and physically able to do so.” *

October 14, 2022: NORMAL IS BUYING 2 RIVIAN VEHICLES AND NOT TELLING YOU THE COST – BLNNEWS
* Toward the end of the article –> The latest fleece is what the Rivian property was appraised for since they now have to pay property taxes. After investing (according to the documentation) $500,000,000 the total assessed value is around $13,000,000. Property taxes are based on a third of that. Paying their FAIR SHARE? *

October 13, 2022: Report: At $13.8 Billion, Unnecessary Electric Vehicle Factory Subsidies Are in Overdrive – Good Jobs First
* In a megadeal spending spree like no other in U.S. history, states and localities have awarded more than $13.8 billion in economic development subsidies to at least 51 electric vehicle (EV) and EV battery factories, mostly in recent years. “We support EVs as a necessary and vital climate-change solution,” said Good Jobs First executive director Greg LeRoy, the report’s lead author. “But these megadeals are unnecessary. The dollars would be far better used making state economies more resilient to big changes coming to the auto supply chain and maintenance markets.” *

October 10, 2022: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Where is the accountability in the Rivian deal? –
Rockdale Newton Citizen
* Excellent letter to the editor by Scott Gaither in response to a recent letter submitted to the Rockdale Newton Citizen. Pointing out some very important facts and asking questions that need to be answered. *

October 10, 2022: Rivian shares slumped after the company announced a big recall – msn.com
* Shares of Rivian Automotive fell sharply on Monday after the electric vehicle maker said late Friday that it is recalling more than 12,000 vehicles – nearly every EV it has made to date *

October 5, 2022: How Corporations Drain School Funding – Good Jobs First
Where we tell you all the cool stuff we’ve been up to including:
* new data that shows what corporate tax breaks cost schools
* the relationship between wage theft and company earnings
* what a judge said to Rivian when it tried to get hundreds of millions in tax breaks by skirting the State Constitution
* how Maine stood up the Walmarts of the state to get them to pay the taxes they owe

September 30, 2022: CEA statement on Rivian bond ruling in Georgia –
The Center For Economic Accountability
* Judge Brenda Holbert Trammell’s ruling against issuing the proposed Rivian bonds is a victory for taxpayers and the rule of law in Georgia. She shone a bright light on the way Georgia’s economic developers ignore the law, the public interest, state Constitution and basic common sense in their pursuit of headline-grabbing subsidy deals. *

September 30, 2022: Rivian plant in Georgia threatened by judge’s ruling on incentives – The Pantagraph
* A Georgia judge has shot down a central component of the $1.5 billion incentive package offered to electric vehicle startup Rivian. If the ruling survives a likely appeal, it would not only disrupt the Rivian project, but could provide a pathway for residents in other parts of the state to challenge controversial local property tax breaks to corporations and developers. The ruling is likely to send shockwaves through Georgia economic development circles, which use incentives known as tax abatements to woo industry and new development. *

September 30, 2022: NO BOND For Rivian In Georgia – Judge And Citizens Halt Project – The Georgia Record
* Through the combined efforts of an organization of local citizens based in Morgan, Newton, Jasper, and Walton counties, Georgia citizens have halted the plans of the Rivian Corporation, which has direct ties to China. Its financiers are currently facing securities fraud litgation. Though Governor Kemp and his associates with the regional Joint Development Authorities (JDAs) wanted citizens to believe the Rivian deal was sealed and have been telling property owners the state has “taken over the project,” citizens found it to be a bullying and distraction strategy. JDA proponents even went so far as to threaten eminent domain. *

September 29, 2022: Judge rules against Rivian: $15 billion in bonds denied – Morgan County Citizen
* A Morgan County judge has denied $15 billion in bonds for Rivian to finance the construction of a massive manufacturing plant, despite the project’s backing from top state and local officials. Morgan County Superior Court Judge Brenda Trammell issued the bombshell ruling on Thursday, Sept. 29, dealing several major blows to Rivian’s funding plans for the plant and historic incentive deal with the State of Georgia and the Joint Development Authority, the local four-county board overseeing Rivian’s development in Stanton Springs North. *

August 30, 2022: Morgan family accuses JDA of threatening condemnation to push land sale through for Rivian – Morgan County Citizen
* The Jenkins family is speaking out after finalizing a land sale to accommodate the Rivian project, alleging that the Joint Development Authority (JDA) pressured the family to sell with the threat of bringing in the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to condemn their land if they refused. *

August 17, 2022: Why the bond that the JDA “must” issue will hurt local taxpayers – Morgan County Citizen
* Excellent article by guest columnist JoEllen Artz explaining phantom bonds and why the bonds are being requested on behalf of Rivian. *

August 15, 2022: Rivian Heads Toward Oblivion – MSN
* Rivian posted abysmal quarterly figures, which opens the door to anxiety that it will not survive, at least as a standalone public company. Another EV experiment may disappear fairly soon. Rivian’s financials were buried under a mountain of positive news about the company that included glowing stories from the media. It was not enough to veil Rivian’s very deep trouble. It expects to lose $5.45 billion for the calendar year. *

August 14, 2022: George Soros Deals a Big Blow to Tesla Rival Rivian – TheStreet
* In a regulatory document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 12, the billionaire’s firm Soros Fund Management indicated that it sold millions of Rivian shares during the second quarter. *

August 10, 2022: Georgia lawmakers looking for transparency, accountability from development authorities – The Jones County News
* State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, who sponsored this year’s legislation, said more needs to be done. “Tax abatements deprive local governments and schools of the revenue they need to provide those services. There’s going to be robust discussion on tax abatements. I consider that a win. These deals need to be for the public good. It’s up to those affected by the taxes to be part of the conversation.” *

July 25, 2022: Two Morgan families file environmental lawsuit against Facebook plant in Stanton Springs – Morgan County Citizen
* “The dust storms arising from the ongoing construction of a second Facebook data center are in addition to a muddy mess that has resulted from the construction of the first data center. A Facebook subcontractor dumped truckload after truckload of red clay spoils from excavation for the data center. Those spoils were dumped on at least one property in the area, without appropriate permitting or erosion and sedimentation controls,” said Craig Pendergrast, one of the attorneys on the case. *

July 24, 2022: Union Carbide wants out of land deal for coastal spaceport – Georgia Recorder
* Opposition of the space port by Camden County residents is gaining momentum. Union Carbide Corporation claims that the company is no longer contractually bound to an option agreement after Camden voters overwhelmingly rejected the county’s purchase of 4,000 acres for the coastal Georgia rocket launch facility.
Congratulations Camden County Residents!! *

July 24, 2022: Court fights raise caution flags on green energy push in Nevada – Los Angeles Times
* “Everything seems to be in the hands of the mining company,” Sarah Wochele, a mining justice organizer for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said at last month’s appeal hearing. “And we just ignorantly praise new technology, new technology.” *

July 22, 2022: Experts slam Pete Buttigieg’s comments on EVs: ‘A con job’ – Fox Business
* “Customers are clever enough to figure this out despite the snow job from the electric vehicle promoters and people like Secretary Buttigieg,” Myron Ebell, the director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, told FOX Business in an interview. “It’s really kind of a con job,” Ebell said. “It may be a good deal for some people in some places under some circumstances. But by-and-large right now, it’s not a good deal.” *

July 20, 2022: Amazon Invests in Green Hydrogen Companies in the US And Europe – Mercom
* Hydrogen with renewable power is considered a more sustainable tool for industries to achieve the net-zero emission targets. *

February 7, 2022: Green New Deal or Stale Old Tax-Break Scam? Getting Electric Vehicle Incentives Right – Non Profit Quarterly
* The rapid rise of electric vehicles (EVs) is about to disrupt state economies and budgets, but the tax break-industrial complex is on cruise control. Governments are suddenly throwing billions in subsidies at new EV assembly and battery factories. Uncle Sam, as usual, is MIA on industrial policy, so the “economic war among the states” is in overdrive. *

July 12, 2022: Why Delivery Giants Walmart, Amazon, FedEx & UPS even Deal with Collapsing EV Startups: EV SPAC Canoo is the Latest – Wolf Street
* It appears the delivery giants Amazon, Walmart, UPS, and FedEx are using the startups to twist the arms of legacy van makers into finally producing EV vans. *

July 5, 2022: Rivian Inc., Gov. Kemp and the JDA: A good combination? – Morgan County Citizen
* “DEAR EDITOR: I write as a very concerned Morgan County landowner and taxpayer, and I have five generations of ancestors buried in Davis Cemetery” *

June 27, 2022: Opponents appeal Rivian’s tax deal to Morgan County Superior Court – Morgan County Citizen
* The 17-page complaint summary claims the usufruct model approved by the Morgan and Walton tax boards to sidestep property taxes for Rivian is illegitimate and violates Georgia’s state constitution *

>> Click here to view the petition that has been filed with Morgan County Superior Court <<

June 23, 2022: Rivian opponents challenge $700M in local tax breaks for EV maker – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
* Opponents of the planned $5 billion Rivian electric vehicle factory asked a judge this week to overturn a Morgan County board’s approval of a rental agreement with the company, alleging the deal violates the state constitution. *

June 20, 2022: Strong Demand For Rivian’s Electric Vehicles, Time To Buy? – Entrepreneur
* “…it could be wise to steer clear from the stock because its weak fundamentals are not in sync with its premium valuation” *

June 16, 2022: Rivian SUV Reservation Holders To Wait Longer For Deliveries: Report; Is RIVN Stock A Buy? – Investor’s Business Daily
* Rivian reported negative free cash flow of $1.452 billion in Q1/2022 and ended Q1 with $16.971 billion in cash and cash equivalents. The company will be bankrupt in less than 3 years if they can’t get the negative cash flow under control. Supply chain issues and time are not on their side. *

June 14, 2022: Elon Musk says that Lucid and Rivian are tracking toward bankruptcy – electrek.com
* Rivian lost $1.5 billion last quarter, and it has significant negative gross margins. If it keeps losing money on electric vehicles it sells and delivers, it will go bankrupt unless it can raise more money, which can be difficult without signs of the trajectory changing *

May 25, 2022: Rivian: Brass Ring or Trojan Horse? – Morgan County Citizen
* Opinion article from the Morgan County Citizen *

May 25, 2022: Morgan County signs off on Rivian tax deal; lawsuits threatened by Rivian opposition – Morgan County Citizen
* “It’s not as clear as the state is making it out to be,” said Christy. “I think all of these issues will eventually make their way to the Supreme Court at some point. The goal is to stop Rivian from coming here altogether. There is absolutely a legal fight coming.” *

May 15, 2022: Georgia Gov. Kemp, allies shield details of major Rivian deal from public view ahead of GOP primary – Just the News
* Critics accuse officials of keeping citizens out of the loop, using underhanded, backroom dealings. *

May 12, 2022: Rivian has been a train wreck since its IPO and an overall black eye for the EV industry – teslarati
* To say the Rivian story has been disappointing to us (and the Street) so far would be an understatement *

May 10, 2022: John Solomon blows the lid off disastrous Kemp-Rivian taxpayer boondoggle deals – rumble.com
* Interview with John Solomon on The John Fredericks Show *

May 9, 2022: In Ga. governor’s race, Perdue hits Kemp for $1.5B to Soros-tied Rivian; EV startup’s shares plunge – Just the News
* New questions surfaced about Kemp’s deal and Rivian’s economic viability on Monday, with the company stock price plunging 13% following reports that Ford will sell 8 million shares *

May 9, 2022: Rivian’s stock plunges on report that Ford is selling shares – CNN Business
* Rivian’s stock plunged 13% Monday as early investors jumped at their first opportunity to sell their shares — including, reportedly, Ford *

May 5, 2022: Rivian opponents hire second attorney – The Rockdale & Newton Citizen
* In addition to Environmental Law Specialist, Stack and Associates, Our Communities have expanded our legal team to include Litigation Specialist, John A. Christy with Scheeder, Wheeler, & Flint LLP *

May 3, 2022: Unproven EV Builder Rivian Receives the Largest Auto Subsidy Package in U.S. History – Good Jobs First
* Watchdog says a generation of Georgia residents will pay higher taxes and suffer under-resourced public services *

May 3, 2022: JDA accuses Morgan County tax official of conflict of interest in Rivian’s tax exemption deal, new meeting slated – Morgan County Citizen
* Please plan to attend -> The new meeting will be held on Thursday, May 12 at 9 a.m. on the second floor of the county administration building located at 150 E. Washington St. in Madison *

April 28, 2022: Amazon takes $7.6 billion loss on Rivian stake after EV company’s stock plunge – cnbc.com
* On Wednesday, Ford took a $5.4 billion loss on its 12% stake in Rivian. Amazon has a roughly 18% stake, according to FactSet, investing a total of more than $1.3 billion into the company. In its earnings report on Thursday, Amazon took a $7.6 billion loss on its stake in Rivian. *

April 29, 2022: Timeline: Rivian Timeline – Morgan County Citizen
* Timeline of events *

April 27, 2022: Morgan tax officials throw wrench in Rivian’s tax exemption deal; JDA accuses board of ‘illegal meeting’ – Morgan County Citizen
* JDA throws temper tantrum when things don’t go their way *

April 19, 2022: Residents slam state’s handling of Rivian project at public meeting – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
* The company has not filed applications for any environmental permits yet, state agency says *

Note: The article above is also available on the AJC FaceBook page – with comment’s enabled

April 18, 2022: Energy & Environment – Rivian opportunity at risk – AXIOS.com
* Rivian’s vehicles are also launching into the teeth of unprecedented, industrywide supply chain disruptions that could delay or derail the company’s ambitious growth plans *

April 18, 2022: Business – Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe: ‘Frustrating’ buying parts to build electric vehicles – New York Post
* Chip suppliers are skeptical of the young electric vehicle company’s capability …. The suppliers are instead allocating more chips to established customers *

April 6, 2022: JDA OKs resolution to seek state funds for Rivian land purchase – The Covington News
* This meeting was held with little, if any, advance notice to the public *

April 6, 2022: Why save it? Just pave it – a conservation easement at risk in Morgan County – SaportaReport
* An old article but still relevant. The property referenced in this article is where the proposed Rivian factory will be constructed *

April 6, 2022: JDA AGREES TO FLOAT $42 BILLION IN “PHANTOM BONDS” FOR FACEBOOK DEAL – Taxpayer’s Watchdog Group
* Another old article. This one brings back memories of another deal put together by our four-county JDA *

April 4, 2022: Lawsuit alleges breach of contract on farmland for Rivian site – Morgan County Citizen
* Interesting new turn of events *

April 4, 2022: Outside The Beltway with John Fredericks – Interview with David Perude begins at 3:30 in the video. – americasvoice.news
* The interview includes a new Perdue campaign ad that addresses the Rivian issue *

April 1, 2022: Anti-Rivian group plans protest, prayer vigil about environmental concerns – The Covington News

April 1, 2022: Rivian Warns of Continuing Losses for the Foreseeable Future in a Filing With the SEC – autoevolution.com

Quote from the article above: “We have incurred net losses since our inception, including net losses of $0.4 billion, $1.0 billion, and $4.7 billion for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively,” Rivian said in the filing. “We believe that we will continue to incur operating and net losses in the future while we grow, including following our initial generation of revenues from the sale of our vehicles […]. We do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future […] and we cannot assure you that we will ever achieve or be able to maintain profitability in the future.”

March 31, 2022: Rivian opponents plan show of solidarity against massive assembly plant – The Rockdale & Newton Citizen.com

March 24, 2022: Capacity Underutilization Will Hurt Stock Price – seekingalpha.com

March 22, 2022: Alan Verner rises to forefront of Rivian controversy – Morgan County Citizen

March 21, 2022: Rivian faces sales setback after Senate bill to open Georgia market for EVs stalls – Morgan County Citizen

March 19, 2022: Rivian Factory in Georgia Faces Opposition Due to Environmental Concerns – autoevolution.com

March 14, 2022: How an Electric Truck Factory Became a Lightning Rod in Georgia – The New York Times

March 8, 2022: Rivian is sued for allegedly misleading investors about electric vehicle prices – Reuters

March 6, 2022: A plan to bring Rivian’s electric truck plant to Georgia is raising questions. Among them: What will it cost taxpayers? – 11Alive

Feb 28, 2022: The Jolt: David Perdue targets Gov. Brian Kemp’s prized Rivian deal – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Feb 22, 2022: MB McCart: Follow-up on the Rivian Situation – State of GA Looks to Take Control – mbmccart.substack.com

Feb 20, 2022: MB McCart: First Piece on Rivian – Concerns abound regarding the “mega-site” – mbmccart.substack.com

Feb 14, 2022: Anti-Rivian movement on the rise; meeting draws over 500, raises $15K, attracts slew of political candidates running for state offices – Morgan County Citizen

Feb 7, 2022: New developer revives plans for Kingston subdivision on Lake Oconee near Buckhead that will bring 750 homes to Morgan County – Morgan County Citizen

Feb 7, 2022: Green Startups Stumble, Accelerating Selloff of Risky Stocks
Once-hot electric-car makers and battery suppliers face investigations and doubts about technology – The Wall Street Journal

Feb 4, 2022: Amazon holiday earnings blow away expectations (thanks to Rivian), stock spikes – MarketWatch

Feb 1, 2022: Riden promises answers on Rivian; von Hanstein decries police presence at county meetings – Morgan County Citizen

Feb 1, 2022: New regional impact report urges ‘caution’ on Rivian development, deems auto plant ‘inconsistent’ with Morgan County’s Comprehensive Plan – Morgan County Citizen<

Jan 31, 2022: JDA asks to postpone Walton rezone hearing; JDA, attorney for opposition group both ask for a delay – Walton Tribune.com

Jan 31, 2022: Rivian plant criticized for risks to environment, culture as market setbacks arise – SaportaReport

Jan 31, 2022: Rivian rezoning postponed in Walton County, Anti-Rivian group hires legal representation – Morgan County Citizen

Jan 28, 2022: Rivian opponents hire attorney, turn focus to Walton planning meeting -The Covington News

Jan 26, 2022: Clemons: Kemp’s silence on Rivian here spoke volumes – Walton Tribune.com

Jan 28, 2022: ‘We don’t want you:’ A resounding rejection of Rivian – Lake Oconee News

Jan 28, 2022: Rivian plant will hurt rural Georgia, opponents say – 11 Alive

Jan 28, 2022: Rivian’s battery partnership with Samsung falls apart over ‘unacceptable’ demands by the electric truck maker – NotebookCheck

Jan 28, 2022: Georgia Today Audio, Neighbors of proposed $5 billion Rivian plant say ‘Not in our backyard’ – Georgia Public Broadcasting

Jan 28, 2022: Georgia Today Text, Neighbors of proposed $5 billion Rivian plant say ‘Not in our backyard’ – Georgia Public Broadcasting

Jan 28, 2022: ‘We don’t want you:’ A resounding rejection of Rivian – Lake Oconee News

Jan 27, 2022: Rivian responds to environmental criticism from residents near site – The Covington News

Jan 25, 2022: “Rivian go away” Anti-Rivian demonstrators flood JDA meeting in protest of $5 billion plant – Morgan County Citizen

Jan 25, 2022: Residents give JDA members a piece of their mind at Joint Development Authority (JDA) meeting – Boxcast

Jan 25, 2022: Rutledge Anti-Rivian group raises $125,000 to begin legal challenge – Morgan County Citizen

Jan 23, 2022: Rivian resistance group to launch legal challenge, pledges public protests against historic deal – Morgan County Citizen

Jan 22, 2022: Rivian’s Georgia electric vehicle plant sparks fears among neighbors – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nov 23, 2021: Four-county metro Atlanta area in spotlight again with Rivian plant – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nov 15, 2021: Expansion for Rivian approved by Normal [Illinois] Town Council – CI Proud

Aug. 31, 2021: Alan Verner retires after more than 20 years of service on the Joint Development Authority – Morgan County Citizen

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