By on January 22, 2020

The catapulting of environmental issues to the forefront of public discourse has spawned many unlikely clashes between greens of different stripes. Climate protesters against CO2-free nuclear power generation, eco types versus high-speed electric rail, and now, angry Germans demanding Tesla stop stealing its water.

The electric automaker’s attempt to build a massive factory in the European country has hit a social roadblock.

Tesla has its eye on a sprawling, 300-hectare plot of industrial-zoned land in Brandenburg, Germany for the location of its new Gigafactory. The automaker, in expansion mode, is all about the local production these days. Europe, with its punitive emissions laws, is a ripe target for Tesla, and Germany especially, what with its bevy of high-end automakers — each planning a range of electric vehicles of its own.

The company’s Fremont, California assembly plant is tapped out for capacity, leading Tesla on a search for greener production pastures. A plant birthing Model 3s (and eventually Model Ys) recently opened in Shanghai.

While the $45.36 million Brandenburg land deal has already received the green light from Tesla’s board of directors and the state’s finance committee, protesters would prefer to see the American intruder take a hike.

As reported by Reuters, a group of 250 protesters assembled near the site over the weekend, chanting, “We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is stealing our water.” The future factory backs onto protected forest, and some trees would need to be cleared to build it. More importantly, the activists claim the massive plant would drain water from the area, impacting wildlife.

Their claims aren’t without merit. Tesla’s own plans for the factory state it would need to pull 300 cubic meters of water per hour to support its operations and employee base. Reuters reports that a Brandenburg water association issued a statement last week outlining “extensive and serious problems with the [plant’s] drinking water supply and wastewater disposal.”

Not everyone in the immediate area is unhappy with the proposal, of course. Labor unions and would-be workers are happy to see the arrival of an operation that’s expected to create 7,000 jobs. As such, counter-protesters set up shop on the other side of the street from the environmentalists.

Tesla aims to have the factory open sometime in 2021.

[Image: Beach Media/Shutterstock]

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30 Comments on “Green Clash: German Environmentalists Protest Tesla Factory...”

  • avatar

    Oh jeez, it people would just start ignoring these fringe groups maybe they would disappear, or maybe the many countries of this world need to begin opening state funded insane asylums like they used to. Quite possibly the best and least objectionable use of tax payer money.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Is the water supply in that area a problem?

  • avatar

    Some people are just insane.

  • avatar

    As Peter M. De Lorenzo would say, what they want are recyclable balsa wood transportation appliances powered by hugs and a smile.

  • avatar

    “We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is stealing our water.”

    That’s an objectively and subjectively horrible chant. Hopefully it sounds better in German, although I have a feeling in their native tongue it’s only 2 words. There’s got to be a German word for being angry about water rights, isn’t there?

  • avatar

    300 cubic meters is approximately 80,000 gallons per hour, or 1,900,000 gallons per day. That’s quite a lot of water, both to pull from the local supply and to send to be treated at a wastewater facility.

  • avatar

    I’m half German from my mom’s side but this protesting is nuts!

    They should be welcoming Tesla with open arms and legs instead of protesting.

    Maybe these environmentalists are really neo-nazis, and anti Jewish?

  • avatar

    I am so embarrassed to be a German these days. What is happening in my once great country is embarrassing and shameful.

    Thank you, Merkel, Habeck, Baerbock, Greta, Luisa, The Greens, FFF and so forth. You have and are ruining our nation for your perverted fact-free ideologies.

    • 0 avatar

      As per Joseph de Maistre:Every country has the government it deserves.

      • 0 avatar

        That is unfortunately true.

        I fear the 2021 elections. The Greens are currently in second place in the polls, not far behind the CDU. A Germany under a Green political party is a dead Germany. Goodbye to our industry, our jobs and our prosperity.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    What other use is the water for?

    “Stealing” implies it would deprive someone else of its use. “Using” the water means it’s there for the taking.

    Draining water from the area would be an impact of building the plant, not its operations. Operation needs a constant flow of water to sustain, so the water level shouldn’t be affected unless the site survey was poorly done.

  • avatar

    It also needs to be said that many of these radical ‘environmental groups’ are against all forms of individual mobility, and at the top of their hate list is the automobile and private vehicle ownership.

    The youth organization of the German Greens for example recently made it clear that they wish to see a car-free Germany in the future. Private car ownership, according to them, should be outlawed and there should be no cars in our country. Somewhere in Germany a mental hospital must be missing a handful of their patients…

    Here is the proof from the official website of the Green Youth (in German):

    • 0 avatar

      I can imagine the level of unemployment in “car-free” Germany.

      “youth organization of the German Greens” sounds sinister to me – anything Green eventually turns Brown.

      • 0 avatar

        The potential Green chancellor, Robert Habeck, was quoted to have said upon being told that the radical ecological policies of his political party would result in many unemployed people in Germany, ‘Then they are simply unemployed.’

        I truly hope the Greens never gain any power here, but sadly they are in second place if we are to believe the polls. A horrific potential future.

        • 0 avatar

          So Germans hate cars so much that they would rather vote for Greens? It is hard to believe that. It is like saying that Russians hate vodka so much that will rather vote for prohibition party or Americans hate iPhones and Android.

          • 0 avatar

            The problem is the current political situation in Germany. The major political parties have had a history of poor decision-making and are making politics which go against their own people.

            The short version is that their voters are abandoning them in droves. They have few choices to vote for namely the Greens, the AfD (Alternative for Germany), Die Linke (communists) and the FDP (Free Liberal Democrats). Of these political parties, the Greens are being pushed by our biased progressive liberal media, and the AfD is being demonized as the new ‘National Socialist’ (Nazi) party, which is untrue.

            I will quickly explain the positions of the two major oppositional parties; the Greens and the AfD.

            The Greens want a radical change of our lifestyle (no cars, but more trains and bicycles (future cars should only be EVs), no meat and instead more vegetables, no imported food but only regional products, no two sexes but various genders and so forth). They are pushing for the elimination of all of our coal and nuclear power plants (along with the CDU and SPD) and truly believe that wind and solar power can sustain the energy needs of an industrial nation such as Germany. They whine and cry and are hysterical about climate change claiming we will all die and so forth if we do not act now. They also stand for open borders and the unlimited ‘migration’ into our social welfare system. The Greens are globalists.

            The AfD is the complete opposite of the Greens – conservative and on the middle of the political spectrum, slightly to the right (a position which the CDU formerly had, which has now become very leftist). They want a slow and gradual phase out of coal power, but believe in nuclear power. They realize that people have individual mobility needs and cannot depend on overpriced and unreliable public transportation services – in short we need cars. They believe in the potential of the internal combustion engine and synthetic fuels, but no in EVs. They want closed borders and controlled migration. They question the climate change hysteria and if it is truly man-made or a natural phenomenon which we as humans are powerless to stop.

            In our media the Greens are being pushed. Their incompetent and clueless politicians are regularly invited to talk shows where they can display their utter stupidity, but their responses are never questioned by the pro-Green media/host. AfD politicians are practically never invited to talk shows and are always spoken about negatively. The average German watches these state-run TV shows (which every German citizen has to pay for whether they like it or not [look up ‘GEZ in Germany’]) and the subtle message they are getting is; Green is good, AfD is bad. Vote Green!

            My response is somewhat vague and quickly written, but I hope you got an idea of what is going on here. Most Germans are still brainwashed by the state-run television services and believe the lies and manipulation. For example, when our biased news reports on President Trump, it is overwhelmingly negative. The forest fires in Australia are the result of ‘climate change’ according to the German news – rather than arson, which has been proven by countless other free and unbiased news sources. The German media has an agenda – to brainwash rather than inform. They work hand in hand with the current corrupt political parties to keep the population ignorant and afraid so that they will continue to vote for the old system political parties, including the Greens.

            The truly shocking thing about the Greens is that they have no solutions. They are a shoot-first-ask-questions-later political party. If they gain power it will be a nightmare. Cars and people who depend on their cars will be financially brutalized, the Autobahn will receive permanent speed limits, the city speed limit will drop from 50-60 kph to 20-30 kph for the sake of reduced noise and ‘safety’ (they fail to see that cars are more fuel efficient at 50-60 kph!), our remaining coal and energy power plants will be shut down with no sustainable and affordable alternative on hand (Germany has the highest electricity prices in he world, and the prices are constantly rising). Off topic, but there was recently an enthusiastic EV driver who had to pay 80 Euros for 100 km (62 miles) of range at a public charging station because that is how expensive our electricity prices have become.

            Of course I could go on, but you get the idea of what hell on this planet will be like if the Greens come to power here. Any sane and logical-thinking German despises them, but many are still asleep and/or brainwashed and are ignorant of their political plans. Also, many young people and first-time voters will vote for the Greens.

      • 0 avatar

        “Anything green quickly turns brown?” oh please. Show me one example of tree-hugging hippies taking over a country, only to immediately change into Nazi uniforms and start committing genocide. One.

        I agree that these protesters are barking up the wrong tree, BTW. My comment is not about that.

  • avatar

    Why in US Tesla chose Arizona to build Gigafactory (and BTW where they get the water in Arizona desert) but in Europe they chose the country with the most expensive workforce. Why not Romania or Albania?

  • avatar

    So while the eco-protestors are busy eating one of their own, Donald J Trump is actually doing something for the environment by signing onto the Trillion Tree initiative and telling his supporters that climate change is “not a hoax”.

    It’ll be fun watching their heads explode when he wins the Nobel Prize.

  • avatar

    ” Trillion Tree initiative ”

    I read elsewhere that cutting down all those trees in the amazon rainforest and elsewhere should never have happened.

    Fight carbon dioxide! Plant a tree.

    Every Arbor Day we plant a tree somewhere as part of a Keep America beautiful pledge. Last year, it was Sedona, AZ. This year we’ll plant one wherever we’ll be on Arbor Day, even if in El Paso, TX.

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