Did Tesla CEO Elon Musk just call for more oil and gas, instead of renewable energy?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Elon Musk Is Calling For More Oil + Gas Production!
The worldwide media has gone ga-ga over Elon Musk calling for oil and gas producers to increase supply at an energy conference in Norway.
This comes after the Tesla CEO asked oil producers to drill for more oil earlier this year, in March.
So the implication is that Musk is reversing his stance on renewable energy. At least, that’s what the headlines suggest:
Wall Street Journal : Elon Musk Says World Needs More Oil and Gas
Wall Street Journal : Elon Musk: Go Nukes and More Oil, Please
CNBC : Elon Musk says world still needs oil and gas
TechSpot : Elon Musk says the world needs more oil, gas and babies
The Times of Israel : Elon Musk, who has fathered 10, says world needs more babies and oil exploration
TheStreet : Elon Musk Calls for More Oil and Gas Drilling to Avert Human Disaster
Elon Musk Is Calling For More Oil + Gas… For Now
The press is correct in saying that Elon Musk just called for increased production of oil and gas. However, many of the news reports did not include the full quote.
The full quote is important, because it makes it clear that Musk was not reversing his stance, but merely stating the obvious – it takes time to migrate to renewable energy.
The world is in an energy crisis right now, thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine; and it is impossible for renewables to make up for the deficit caused by sanctions on Russian oil and gas.
The full quote of what Elon Musk said at that energy conference in Norway makes that very clear:
I want to thank the leaders and the people of Norway for their long-standing support. I do think we actually need more oil and gas for civilization to function. But simultaneously moving fast to a sustainable energy economy.
He obviously still believes that renewable energy is the future, but that the world will need more oil and gas in the short term due to the invasion of Ukraine.
This is consistent with what he said earlier this year, in March 2022, when he first called for increased oil and gas production:
Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil and gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.
Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil and gas exports.
Honestly, this is all pretty much common sense. You don’t need to be Elon Musk to understand the urgent need for more oil and gas to replace sanctioned Russian gas and oil.
Elon Musk Not Only Called For More Oil + Gas, But Nuclear Power Too
Some of the press went with the nuclear angle, which is also true. Elon Musk did call for more nuclear power, but only in the context of maintaining existing plants that are well-designed.
While nuclear plants are far less polluting. than oil- and gas-fired power plants, they produce nuclear waste that pose long-term storage and security risks.
If you have a well-designed nuclear plant, you should not shut it down — especially right now.
As you can tell – he did not call for more nuclear plants to be built. Just that the world should retain existing plants that are well-designed and working well.
It does not make sense to shut them down in the middle of a massive energy crisis. You really don’t have to be Elon Musk to know that too…
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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