Chinese Co. to Raze Trees to Build Michigan EV Battery Plant, Claims Locals Spreading 'Misinformation'

Moreno Geremetta/ANSA via AP

A Chinese company, with the approval of Michigan's government, is cutting down trees to build a plant to build batteries for electric vehicles. In so doing, they are effectively removing a great carbon sink - trees - to build batteries that are of questionable quality, to power electric vehicles that are of questionable effectiveness, all in the name of "green energy."

A Chinese green energy firm backed by Michigan's state government is tearing down trees to make way for a proposed electric vehicle (EV) battery plant designed to help the state meet its climate goals.

Gotion Inc. — whose parent company is Hefei, China-based Gotion High-Tech — said it has initiated its tree-cutting process this week to make way for its controversial EV project in Mecosta County, Michigan, which has received support from Democrats and climate activists, but opposition from Republicans and national security experts. The firm said the process is legal and pushed back against concerns raised by locals.

Of course, the Chinese company's U.S. rep is already claiming that any opposition to the plant is "misinformation."

"It’s unfortunate that some extremist groups have targeted Mecosta County area businesses that want to work with Gotion Inc. to grow and strengthen jobs in our region," said Chuck Thelen, Gotion’s vice president of North American operations.

"A small minority of people continue to spread misinformation and manufacture lies about Gotion Inc., which invariably leads some residents to act out and make threats," he continued. "Despite these attempts at intimidation, the legal selective cutting of trees will start on Feb. 14."

It is unclear precisely where the "misinformation" is found here. Is it the claim one might make that trees are not only "carbon reservoirs," but that they also produce oxygen, which, you know, people (and all animals) require to survive? Is it that Chinese companies, by which you might mean the Chinese Communist Party, have a questionable track record on battery technology? Or that electric vehicles just don't work as climate activists have claimed?

See Related: WATCH: Activists Rage About Climate Change, Get Arrested After Disrupting Biden Campaign Headquarters 

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In one of the interesting little ironies that sometimes surrounds these kinds of things; a lot of the local opposition to this scheme has to do with the logging off of the proposed site.

Crain's Detroit Business reported earlier this week that one local logging business had been awarded the contract but ultimately backed out over the sustained local opposition, saying they didn't want to be "tied up in a bunch of gobbledygook." The opposition appears to have been spearheaded, in part, by Marjorie Steele, the founder of the Economic Development Responsibility Alliance of Michigan.

"To date, Gotion has applied for no environmental permits through EGLE, no soil erosion permits through the county, and has presented no site plan to local or state agencies. Yet Gotion is preparing to log the site before the end of the month," Steele wrote to the local U.S. Environmental Protection Agency office last month.

This is, I must say, roundly entertaining. On one hand, you have the liberal Michigan state government and a Chinese company that is, like all Chinese companies, a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party; on the other, you have green activists who are against removing trees. While, if forced to choose between the two, I'd side with the trees - I like trees - it's nevertheless fun to watch both sides hack away at each other. This entire thing has produced an enormous Gordian Knot of arguments for and against, and there is no Alexander here to draw his sword and cleave the knot in twain.

As said, though, if I had to choose, I'd take trees in a second over a Chinese battery manufactory. I like trees. I live among them. Communists, not so much.

As usual, our favorite commenter on China, YouTuber "serpentza", who has a great deal of experience in that country, has some things to say about Chinese battery technology.



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