Monday I received a postal letter from my congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in response to my concerns about electric cars and Tesla in particular. It was not a form letter. She represents my suburban Chicago district and is a member of the house committee on energy and commerce.
She wrote, “I am a strong proponent of electric car technology, and I have supported efforts to bring emerging technology to the state.” She goes on to describe her strong support for the federally funded project at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois for the development of more powerful yet faster batteries. She believes that, “The progress made at the lab will encourage companies like Tesla to start in and even relocate in Illinois.” She added that, “The progress made by Tesla over the past few years is remarkable, and it is truly one of the world’s most innovative companies. Regarding the possibility of a new Tesla plant being built in Illinois, she wrote, “I will raise this idea with the governor.”
I know Jan from having campaigned with her last year while I ran unsuccessfully for state representative. I know Governor Quinn even better, since he was a regular guest on my Chicago financial news TV show during the nineties. A that time he was a private lawyer and former state treasurer. Of course the president who is from Illinois also strongly supports the Argonne project and alternative energy programs. So Tesla has political friends in high places, and they are not all from California.