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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Elon Musk Strikes Back At Big Coal

Musk

Tesla’s Elon Musk struck back at Robert Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Corp., after the latter called Tesla “a fraud” in an interview. In a tweet, Musk said the real fraud was denying “climate science” and went on to add that the subsidies Murray spoke against in his interview with CNBC were pennies on the dollar, unlike what Big Coal gets from the government.

The reason Murray lashed out at Tesla, which was in an interview with CNBC, was because the company, according to him, had failed to generate a profit despite the subsidies it receives, but he went on to defend coal vehemently:

“By the way, you could close down every coal-fired plant in the United States today, and you would not affect the temperature of the earth at all,” he said.

Musk took to Twitter in response.

The ultimate target of Murray’s attack was actually the Democratic party for its financial support for electric vehicles, and specifically the party’s presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who, Murry said, was “supporting her friends” instead of actually working to protect the environment.

Murray Energy Corp. is the biggest player in a field that is being shaken by new regulations aiming to fight climate change, on top of growing competition from natural gas as an energy source. These changes have already led to numerous bankruptcies in the coal industry, production cuts and layoffs in the thousands. Murray Energy recently warned it was looking to lay off 80 percent of its workforce, or about 4,000 people. Related: Oil Prices, Equities Surge Ahead Of OPEC’s Informal Meeting

The irony of the accusation regarding Tesla’s subsidies is rich, in that the coal industry continues to receive subsidies from the same government that Murray is blaming for supporting electric vehicles. According to a recent report from the government, the U.S. has 16 separate subsidy mechanisms for fossil fuels, together worth over US$8 billion annually.

The fossil fuel subsidies were released under an agreement with China, which revealed 9 separate subsidy mechanisms worth US$14.5 billion annually. The subsidies are inefficient, according to Clean Technica, but for the time being their removal is unlikely, because the Republican-weighted Congress would need to vote them down.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Oilracle on October 11 2016 said:
    The “greens” came out with fraudulent claims of ‘subsidies” which work like this:

    a) Industry produces products in amount of 1 billion dollar;

    b) The government imposes taxes on this company in amount of 10 billion dollars;

    c) To make this product viable for most of the people at the cost of 1.5 billion dollars, the Government makes all sorts of exemptions to the industry totaling 9.5 billion dollars.

    d) Now the well-known category of politicians and their cronies like Musk claim that that industry gets $9.5 billions in subsidies.
  • Philip Branton on October 12 2016 said:
    WHAT....? Come on Irina. You know the real story behind Elon and this Murray Coal baron playing patty cake. What a media stunt. Don't fall for it Irina. You know full well that all this COAL is more valuable for Carbon nano-tube production than being burned and Elon most surely knows. Come Irina......nail this Coal baron on this informational investor deception. Just last night I met some fine people from Morgantown W.V. and had a nice chat about coal. Dare to wonder what their reaction was when I had them use their own smartphones to google carbon nano-tube manufacturing and research..? Irina........you need to be all over this and be the Erin Brockovich of "coal"..!!
  • crude707 on October 12 2016 said:
    Murray is overpaid and unoriginal. STFU already you tired old sac of shit.
  • cowboybob on October 12 2016 said:
    that's it Musk, bight the hand that feeds you...imbecile. If it wasn't for government subsidy, we would have never heard of Tesla...where is the electricity going to come from to charge your overpriced slotcars? I continue to be amazed at all the intelligencia that thinks windmills and solar panels can replace the hydrocarbon energy necessary to run the world. And I think most of them know that, so....I for one am not willing to spend the remainder of my life in the New Dark Ages that the establishment so obviously covets. It's an obvious attempt to keep governments at the helm of all activity and pulling the strings. Now it's the same cabal of lunatics that killed nuclear power which want Every last thing electrified. Good luck with that pipe dream.
  • Oilracle on October 12 2016 said:
    cowboybob on October 12 2016 said:
    “Musk, bite the hand that feeds you”
    --
    I disagree – the hand which feeds all the US idiocy for more than a decade by now has a name of National Dept.

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