Shall we all revolt against fossil fuel because of what it does to the environment? Gas subsidies were on his mind when Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk argued for a carbon tax, as reported in The Guardian.
Musk spoke at the World Energy Innovation Forum, held at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, when he said, “The fundamental issue with fossil fuels is that every use comes with a subsidy. Every gasoline car on the road has a subsidy, and the right way to address that is with a carbon tax.”
Musk admitted that the fossil fuel lobbyists who influence politicians would make the changes he suggests difficult. He offered that the way to overcome the political challenge is to educate the public. People need to grasp the reality and scope of the threat of climate change, and understand it is directly attributable to fossil fuel use. He pointed out that proposed climate change policies in the EU have already been dropped because of economic pressure from oil companies.
“It is quite worrying, the future of the world,” Musk said. “We need to appeal to the people and educate them to sort of revolt against this and to fight the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous.”
Tesla makes electric vehicles and buyers get tax credits, but Musk said that’s not enough. “Politicians take the easy path of providing subsidies to electric vehicles, which aren’t equal to the applied subsidies of gasoline vehicles. It weakens the economic forcing function to transition to sustainable transport and energy.”
The company’s electric power business goes beyond cars, providing a wider pulpit for speaking about clean energy. In a letter to shareholders, Tesla stated, “Tesla Energy posted strong growth in the quarter as well. During Q1, we delivered over 25MWh of energy storage to customers in four continents. We delivered over 2,500 Powerwalls and nearly 100 Powerpacks in the quarter throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa.”