Rivian's Georgia Plant Faces Stiff Opposition, As Residents in Morgan County Push Back

Rivian's Georgia plant faces stiff opposition 7 photos
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Rivian has big plans for its second plant in Georgia, with a $5 billion investment that will create 7,500 jobs. The rural community in Rutledge, where the factory would be built, opposes the plans and says the future plant would ruin their way of life.
Big investments tend to bring benefits to a region, as they mean more jobs and a boost to the local economy. But not everybody is happy with big investment plans, as the downsides include disruption to local communities through more traffic, pollution, and a lower quality of life in general. It’s tough to keep the balance right between boosting the economy and preserving the environment and the quality of life.

This is nothing new and we know Tesla also faced opposition to its Giga Berlin plant in Germany. It also happened to legacy carmakers, although they are more likely in the position to close old plants than they are to open new ones. In the case of Rivian’s future plant in Georgia, it could prove crucial to ramp up the production to the levels needed to keep up with the huge demand for the R1T and R1S.

We know Rivian bought a massive 2,200-acre property south of Atlanta where they intend to build a signature factory to match the start-up’s huge ambitions. Not all the approvals are in place, though, and now the community in Morgan County started organizing to oppose the plant construction. The locals are mostly retired citizens that moved there from Atlanta, lured by the pristine environment and the rural living promised by the county leaders some years ago.

It's a heavily retired population. There are less than 20,000 people in our county. If they hire 7,500 people, that will be like, every day, bringing in a third of our county population,” complains JoEllen Artz, one of the residents who have lived in Rutledge for the past 20 years.

According to the Morgan County Comprehensive Plan that was drafted in 2017, the future vision for the area included green space and rural living, with only gradual future development. Certainly, building a huge factory with 7,500 workers nearby does not sound like a gradual development. And Rivian aims to start construction works for the factory as early as this summer.

According to an article by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), the local community created The Rivian Opposition group with the mission to raise $250,000 for a legal team to go against Rivian’s factory plans. A Facebook group named “Our Communities Oppose Rivian Assembly Plant” already has over 2,000 members. They want to stop the future construction entirely or at least slow down the process. What do you think about this struggle? We'd love to hear your opinion on this in the comments section below.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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