Four Subsidy Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

1. New York may be getting billions in microchip subsidies, but Senator Chuck Schumer can’t say how many jobs the subsidies will produce (Press Connects). As our John Kaehny notes, this might be a bad sign.

“Subsidy math is political math and not actually based on a return on public investment,” Kaehny said. “The fact that Schumer couldn’t say that this will create X number of jobs and have a uniform definition of jobs says a lot.”

2. The Seneca Nation has sued over the new Plug Power plant in upstate Genesee County (Investigative Post). Reporter Mark Scheer has detailed the project’s high cost for New Yorkers: $4 million per job.

“The Plug Power project is being touted as a green development initiative, but development of a manufacturing mega-site adjacent to the Nation’s Territory endangers both the environment and the cultural traditions and practices of the Tonawanda Seneca people,” said Laura Berglan, a senior attorney with Earthjustice, a nonprofit public interest law organization that is representing the Nation.

3. The Cuomo administration has finally released the jobs report for its South Buffalo Tesla plant (WGRZ). Tesla is still about 500 jobs short of its commitment.

The documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request with Empire State Development claim, “As of May 28, 2021, Tesla’s New York State headcount now stands at 1,665 including the current GFNY [Gigafactory New York] headcount in Buffalo of 1,058.”

4. At Boondoggle, Pat Garofalo writes about the worst aspects of Amazon’s HQ2 search.

For example, current Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — who reportedly only made the HQ2 search so public because he was jealous of the subsidies Elon Musk received for his various business ventures, such as Tesla and SpaceX — was supposedly told by his “gut” that those finalist cities were no good. Incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, meanwhile, didn’t want to go to Philadelphia because he’s a fan of the NFL’s New York Giants, bitter rivals with the Philadelphia Eagles.

If you got this from a friend, sign up here. Subsidy Sheet is written by Tom Speaker, Policy Analyst at Reinvent Albany. Please send questions and tips to We look forward to hearing from you!