Published December 20, 2015
New York taxpayers are footing the bill for a massive $750-million SolarCity manufacturing plant with a promise that the company will spend $5 billion there on product and development, but when a local TV station tried to find out contract details, they were told it was confidential.
Buffalo, N.Y., station WIVB-4 received the contract through a Freedom of Information request, but most of the pages were blacked out. The resulting document looks like something reporters would receive from the CIA.
New York state officials told the station the heavy redactions reflected trade secrets in the document.
“The disclosure of specific, heavily negotiated terms relating to the financing of the project … would have significant impact on the ability of both parties to negotiate effectively with others in the future and would likely cause substantial competitive injury,” the state claimed.
The TV station alsowas told that SolarCity had to approve disclosure of key information.
Critics wonder why the state is subsidizing a private company.