Tesla may be the world’s leading seller of plug-in electric vehicles, but CEO Elon Musk wants the U.S. oil-and-gas industry to ramp up production.
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately,” the billionaire tweeted Friday. “Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”
Mr. Musk added: “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
He joined rising calls to stop buying Russian fossil-fuel products and unleash domestic producers in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. and Europe have imposed financial and economic sanctions on Moscow but specifically avoided slapping an energy embargo on Russia, a major supplier of oil and gas to the West, over concerns about higher fuel prices.
Among those who responded to Mr. Musk’s tweet was Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, who said: “America is funding Russia’s war by buying Russian oil and gas rather than producing our own.”
Russia brings in an estimated $500 million per day from its exports of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products, representing about half of the country’s revenue.
U.S. imports of Russian crude oil and petroleum products hit a record high last year, averaging about 700,000 barrels per day, prompting a bipartisan push for legislation to enact a ban on fossil-fuel products from Russia.
The world’s richest person, Mr. Musk also tweeted his support for Ukraine and “my sympathies to the great people of Russia, who do not want this.”
Tesla set a record last year by delivering 936,172 electric vehicles worldwide, nearly double the 499,550 vehicles produced by the company in 2020.
Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately.
Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022