Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk is angry with Robert E. Murray – the CEO of Murray Energy. Murray called the EV firm ‘a fraud’ while speaking on the Squawk Box show on CNBC on Monday. He said the green car maker got $2bn from the taxpayer, and despite that did not make a penny in cash flow as yet.
Murray vs Tesla CEO
In response, Musk first linked to a video on Twitter, and then he said that denial of climate science is the real fraud going on. Musk also said that the subsidies Tesla Motors Inc receive is way less than what the coal industry receives. Then asked, “How about we both go to zero?”
Murray criticized Musk for taking subsidies, and said the government should support clean coal technology. Advancing the technology that makes coal truly clean burning would not only take a lot of investment, but a time of several years as well, said Murray
“Just as the government is supporting through the people’s taxes windmills and solar panels, they need to support the clean coal technology. … We need a level playing field.”
Who gets more funds?
The Energy Information Administration in an analysis, found that the share of direct federal financial support for electricity production paid to renewable is far greater.
EIA found that electricity production and federal utilities that rely on coal received direct cash outlays worth $1.08bn in 2013. This amount is dispersed through loans and guarantees, tax benefits, federal programs and research and development funding.
The same sources contributed $15.04bn in funding for electricity production from renewables in the same year. This was 72% of federal support of that kind. About 39% of the renewable subsidies were accounted for by Wind while solar attracted 35%, notes a report from CNBC.
As per CNBC, the Department of Energy offered $8bn in loan guarantees in December 2013 under President Barack Obama. This amount was meant for projects that aim to reduce, avoid or sequester greenhouse gases from fossil fuels. The program is open to clean coal technologies such as carbon capture and storage technology.
Murray tried to make it political
Republicans and Democrats have different approaches to federal regulations and spending. and the US presidential election has underscored those differences. Murray said that Tesla Motors Inc collects subsidies through energy policies that have the support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Here again, it’s subsidies, and Hillary Clinton said they need government help,” he said.
Murray further said that with such policies Clinton is ‘supporting her friends’ rather than protecting the environment. He also said, “You could close every coal-fired plant in the United States today and you would not affect the temperature of the Earth at all.”
Murray Energy – in the summer – announced cutting more than 4,000 jobs, accounting for about 80% of its workforce. Coal prices are really weak for now.