The White House sidestepped questions about Tesla's desire to sell cars directly to consumers in more states.
Last June, a petition filed on the White House's "We The People" site about direct-to-consumer car sales took less than a month to reach 100,000 signatures, the threshold required for a response from the Obama administration. "State legislators are trying to unfairly protect automobile dealers in their states from competition," the petition read, and it made no bones about Tesla's direct-sales efforts standing out from the standard dealership sales model found throughout the United States.
Late Friday afternoon, more than a year after the petition's filing, White House spokesperson Dan Utech's response went live. After praising Tesla's efforts in "innovation" and helping America "reduce our dependence on oil," Utech (perhaps unsurprisingly) passed the buck: "Laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level."
Utech continued by reaffirming the administration's "goal of improving consumer choice for American families," but then frankly stated that any federal attempt to interfere with current auto sales state laws "would require an act of Congress."
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