Anti Clean Energy Crowds Mobilized Against “Communist” EV Battery Plant

April 6, 2023

Not just wind turbines and solar panels – there is a broad based attack on the energy transition. A population of paranoid, conspiracist, aggrieved and confused Americans, lost in the disinformation rabbit holes of social media, has been weaponized by the fossil fuel industry.


MECOSTA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — A proposed battery plant in Mecosta County could bring thousands of jobs to the area. 

But right now, the company is bringing hundreds of questions. 

On Wednesday night, representatives from the company and the county held and online panel to address some of the community’s concerns. 

The company’s ties to China, the environmental impact and threatening the small-town atmosphere.

Those are the three main categories of concerns surrounding Gotion Inc.’s proposal to build a $2.4 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Big Rapids. 

“None of these claims are true, they don’t have any basis in facts whatsoever,” said Gotion North America Vice President Chuck Thelen. “So we will provide the truth to all of these topics tonight.”

Thelen was in the hot seat on Wednesday night, as he fielded questions over Gotion, which was founded in China. 

Some community members have expressed concern that Gotion Inc. will promote communist ideas in the area.

“I’ve never seen or heard of any kind of push to bring some underground communist plot into Big Rapids,” Thelen said. 

“I have never, ever, witnessed any type of activity in this company that suggests that the Chinese government runs the company,” Thelen said. 

When it comes to environmental concerns, some are worried about the plant’s impact on area’s water supply. 

“Our water consumption will be roughly 715,000 gallons per day,” Thelen said. “That is 50% of the pump capacity that’s at the current wells on the Big Rapids Township property. There are two wells; we only need one.” 

Thelen added there should be no concern of any pollution passing through the plant and going into the ground or rivers. 

“The water that we use never even comes in contact with materials that we process,” Thelen said. “If you get these materials wet, you destroy the materials. So no, we will not be pumping materials or minerals or chemicals into the water.”

Gotion said the plant will create 2,350 jobs by 2030. 

While Gotion plans to bring in 20 to 50 people from outside the U.S. to get the plant up and running, Thelen said they will not be permanent workers and he will prioritize hiring locals. 

“This plan will be run by Michiganders, I hope I will be the first one,” Thelen said. “And then whoever succeeds me, hopefully they’re Michigander. If not, they’ll be an American.”

A protest against the proposed plant was held near the campus of Ferris State University where community members held signs and voiced opposition, including 2024 Republican presidential candidate Perry Johnson.


4 Responses to “Anti Clean Energy Crowds Mobilized Against “Communist” EV Battery Plant”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    When it comes to environmental concerns, some are worried about the plant’s impact on area’s water supply.

    Now that’s something I myself would be apprehensive about, and be skeptical unless the assurance came from a disinterested party or a published contract. Of course I don’t know the potential water issues in that area.

    (And, yes, it’s likely the FF people would bring up the water issue even if the locals didn’t think to be worried.)

  2. neilrieck Says:

    The USA has been here before and it was referred to as “McCarthyism” after the junior senator Wisconsin who was taken down by broadcaster and journalist Edward R. Murrow (today some might use the phrases MSM or main stream media)

    Apparently every time Joseph McCarthy gave an interview to the press, he would mention a never-the-same number of communists in the state department; all unsubstantiated. From various biographies we now know that many citizens and politicians were afraid to speak out against this guy (and his enablers), including then President Eisenhower, until after the madness had passed by. Today we hear a litany of unsubstantiated facts from the right (gay grooming, trans grooming, puberty blockers, politically motivated pedophilia rings, abortion, stolen elections) while politicians on the right ignore the real issues (public debt, unemployment) preferring to focus on a so-called culture war. And as this happens, many on the right are afraid to speak out against Trump and his enablers. I wonder when “this madness” will ever pass

  3. ubrew12 Says:

    I can imagine these people, fresh from expressing their concern over buying stuff from communist China, rushing to the latest sales at Walmart.

  4. gmrmt Says:

    “Them Commies gave erse jawbs!!”

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