I’ve seen quite a few vehement Twitter posts regarding Elon Musk, Tesla, subsidies, that 2008 government loan in which Tesla repaid American taxpayers back early and with interest as of late. Politicians and political talking heads have been taking to Twitter to discuss the woes of the villain, Elon Musk, and the wealth that he “stole from poor people.”
They point to Elon’s wealth and government subsidies for Tesla and SpaceX. Although the latter isn’t a clean energy company and uses fossil fuels like all aerospace companies, SpaceX has saved taxpayers millions of dollars with its reusable rockets and by offering by far the lowest cost to send NASA astronauts and equipment to space. It should also be noted that Elon Musk is in favor of a carbon tax, which he stated before would hurt SpaceX. This is often overlooked.
That aside, the target shouldn’t be on Elon Musk. It should be on the fossil fuel industry. The governments of the world are giving the fossil fuel industry $11 million in subsidies per minute.
Earlier this year, Greenpeace noted that the American government gives away $20 billion a year in taxpayer money to the fossil fuel industry. The article pointed out that the US government has subsidized coal, oil, and gas for decades even though the majority of voters want to end these subsidies.
$11 Million A Minute Given Away By Governments To Big Oil, Gas, & Coal
The fossil fuel industry is sucking up billions globally each year and is destroying our planet. The Guardian reported that according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the fossil fuel industry receives $11 million in government subsidies every minute. The production and burning of coal, oil, and gas were subsidized by $5.9 trillion in 2020.
Furthermore, not a single country has priced its fuels to reflect its full supply and environmental costs. The subsidies, experts told The Guardian, are adding fuel to the fire of the climate crisis during a time when we need rapid reductions in carbon emissions. IMF analysts pointed out that governments setting fossil fuel prices that reflect their true costs would cut worldwide CO2 emissions by over a third — a big step toward meeting the internationally agreed upon 1.5°C average warming target.
Maria Pastukhova, of the think tank E3G, said it best:
“The IEA’s net-zero roadmap projects that $5tn is necessary by 2030 to put the world on the pathway to a climate-safe world. It is maddening to realize the much-needed change could start happening now, if not for governments’ entanglement with the fossil fuels industry in so many major economies.
“Fossil fuel subsidies have been a major stumbling block in the G20 process for years.”
Focus On The Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Before worrying about Elon Musk, Tesla, and how much money Elon has, focus on this massive problem and backroom dealings with the fossil fuel industry.
Instead of focusing on Elon Musk’s wealth made his first few millions, to hide the fact that our system is handing out trillions to an industry that is killing us.
They point to Elon Musk and demand that he end world hunger, solve poverty, and fix a broken system.