Now that Tesla is venturing further into the energy industry by ramping up its energy storage division, ‘Tesla Energy’, and with solar through its proposed merger with SolarCity, the company is not just causing serious concern to established automakers and big oil, but also traditional energy companies like coal mining corporations.
This morning it became clear that Tesla is not welcomed by those companies either when Robert Murray, a climate-change denier and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, one of the biggest coal mining firms in the US, called Tesla a “fraud” for receiving subsidies without turning a profit.
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In an interview with CNBC (embedded below), Murray said:
“Tesla is a fraud. He’s gotten $2 billion from the taxpayer, has not made a penny yet in cash flow, here again it’s subsidies.”
Murray, a fervent Trump supporter who pressures his employees to fundraise for him and promises layoffs if he doesn’t win, went on to claim that Hilary Clinton wants to give subsidies to “Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, the Pritzkers” and other wealthy Americans because they are friends, and that the subsidies have “nothing to do with supporting the environment”.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk fired back at Murray saying that the “real fraud going on is denial of climate science” and he suggested that Murray’s own company was profiting from subsidies and that they should both try to compete without any:
Earlier this year, Musk argued that ‘people have to revolt against the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous’. He implied that the industry planted a story about Musk’s businesses receiving billions of dollars in subsidies to counter the IMF study that found that the fossil fuel industry was receiving the equivalent of ~$5 trillion in subsidy a year.
In the past, Musk, a proponent of a revenue-neutral carbon tax, has voiced his position in favor of ending subsidies in order to move toward a truly free market, as long as the currently unpriced externalities attached to polluting products, like coal, start to be fairly priced – hence why he is in favor of a carbon tax.
Musk explained his position in more details during a talk in Paris last year.
Tesla is expected to hold an event jointly with SolarCity on October 28 to unveil new products, which should give us a better idea of Tesla’s upcoming place in the energy industry.
Murray’s interview on CNBC this morning:
If you need to feel better about the world, know that we’re at a clean energy inflection point: