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Kevin Stitt fails to land another huge business deal…

Once again, our businessman Governor has shown he can’t close a big deal. 

Despite being enticed by a $700-million bribe/incentive package that was put together at the last second by Oklahoma lawmakers and Governor Kevin Stitt, Volkswagen announced it has chosen a site in Ontario, Canada to be the home for its big and fancy North American EV battery factory.

The snub comes just eight months after Oklahoma suffered a similar fate when Pansonic picked Kansas to be the home of its battery mega-factory, despite Stitt and Co. putting together their own cushy package. 

Here is a press statement Ole’ Stitter sent out about the news:

There’s no doubt that today’s announcement was disappointing. We would have rather seen those thousands of jobs come to the U.S., specifically Oklahoma, than go across the border to Canada. That said, Oklahoma has never been in a position to compete with an entire country for a major project, but that’s exactly what we did and it’s a testament to the hard work of state leaders in the Legislature and the Commerce Department who are making Oklahoma the most business-friendly state in the nation. Now we are right back to work pursuing additional opportunities in the pipeline and will continue our critical efforts to help companies who are already in Oklahoma expand and grow. I remain committed and optimistic that if we continue to work together, Oklahoma will land one of these historic opportunities.

In all fairness to Governor Stitt, he brings up a point. You can’t expect a state – especially a poor one with an unskilled workforce that loses deals to Kansas – to compete with another country for a major project.

Naturally, that begs the following question – Why were we wasting our time on it?

I know Kevin Stitt’s a really big fan of aspirational and equally unattainable goals, but unless the state is getting under-the-table cash from VW for forcing Canada to add more incentives to their package, what’s the point in bidding for a project we know we’re not going to get? At least when he pitched Oklahoma to Tesla he got to have a picnic with Elon Musk...

Anyway, although Panasonic and VW have both ditched Oklahoma for greener pastures, at least we still have Canoo – the EV car company that will likely never build a car here – planning to build cars here. 

I wonder how they’re doing?

Hey, at least Stitt and Co. can score deals with automakers that nobody else seems to want. 

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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