OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made headlines again this week with a warning that won’t sit well with most Democrats.
While speaking at an oil and gas conference in Stavanger, Norway, the world’s richest man unequivocally stated that gas and oil are currently needed to prevent civilizations from crumbling.
Elon Musk said the world still needs oil and gas in order to avoid civilization from crumbling.
“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term because otherwise, civilization will crumble,” Musk told delegates, Reuters reported.
“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy. That will take some decades to complete,” he added.
“At this time, we actually need more oil and gas, not less,” Musk said, arguing that we shouldn’t “demonize” fossil fuels in comments reported by Bloomberg.
This is not the first time Musk has publicly called for more production of fossil fuels.
In March, Musk urged the U.S. to increase its domestic gas and oil output in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while also acknowledging that his electric car company would be negatively impacted by that move.
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & 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 & gas exports,” Musk tweeted.
“The Biden administration has faced increased criticism from both sides of the aisle in recent days for not doing more to focus on American energy production in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted energy markets worldwide,” Fox Business reported.
“Additionally, reports have shown that the U.S. is buying 650,000 barrels a day from Russia, which some have argued is essentially financing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war machine. Russia is the producer of one out of every 10 barrels of oil consumed by the world, according to the New York Times, making it the third-largest oil producer in the world,” the report added.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took to social media to agree with Musk, saying the U.S. needs to increase oil and gas output “immediately.”
Cruz took to Twitter to support Musk’s statement, saying, “Couldn’t agree more! Unleash American energy NOW!”
In a statement over the weekend, the Texas Republican said he introduced the Energy Freedom Act, an effort to make America energy independent again by “accelerating federal permitting for energy projects and pipelines, mandating new onshore and offshore oil and gas lease sales, approving pending LNG export licenses, and generally speeding up solar, wind, and geothermal development.”
“In the past year with Joe Biden as president, the United States has lost its status as a net petroleum exporter, after achieving that goal in 2019 for the first time since 1949. Why? Because on day one of his administration, President Biden issued illegal and hostile orders aimed at American oil and gas producers, which have increased energy prices and directed profits to other oil-exporting countries,” Cruz said in the statement.
“These policies have poured billions of dollars into countries such as Russia and Iran, which use those funds to attack our allies and undermine the national security of America. President Biden has imposed more restrictions on U.S. oil companies than he has on Russian oil. With Iran, he has looked the other way as the regime busted through sanctions and raised their exports to more than one million barrels per day for the first time in almost three years,” he added.
“I’m introducing the Energy Freedom Act to reverse Biden’s actions so we can restore American energy independence. This bill won’t cost taxpayers a dime, but it will provide the United States billions in revenue in the coming years by expediting permitting, leasing, safe new pipelines, and exports, and providing much-needed regulatory certainty. It would create new jobs, lower energy costs, and because modern energy production in the United States is far cleaner than in any other country’s by every measure, it would help the environment,” he continued.
“The Energy Freedom Act would put a stop to the Biden administration’s sabotage of the American energy industry, and Congress should take it up without delay,” Cruz concluded.