In the news recently, Elon Musk (the creator of Tesla, Solar city and Space X) has received a lot of bad press because of his presence with Donald Trump’s administration. He has been called a “crony capitalist” by people who view his relationship with the controversial administration by joining Trump’s business advisory council. The reason being, Musk depends on and would not be able to have his businesses continue without government support.
The government is responsible for making Musk’s expensive green initiatives more affordable for the common consumer. According to The Verge, "Every Tesla buyer in the U.S. walks off the lot with a $7,500 federal tax credit, with additional credits ranging up to $25,000 depending on the state and model. A similar credit lets you deduct up to 30 percent of the cost of home solar panels…” Without the government subsidy, not only will Musk’s green businesses fail, but many others will too. His efforts have helped catalyze a green revolution with the birth of many new electric vehicle and renewable energy companies. These other companies also can not survive without the same subsidies. Without a safe, nurturing environment for these green companies to grow, we will kill the process for the transition away from harmful fossil fuels to clean energy.
Many in the Trump administration are dismissive of climate change, including the director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, who claimed recently, according to the The New York Times, “that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming," a statement at odds with the established scientific consensus on climate change. With the U.S. being the second largest contributor of harmful greenhouse emissions, it is literally vital that there is a transition to clean energy so everyone in the world may have a future because we are eventually going to hit a point where we have killed our environment and can no longer call this planet our habitat. There have already been five known mass extinctions in the Earth’s history and we can’t have something that could be preventable be responsible for the next.
With a government that has a position that is potentially against subsidizing renewable energy, men like Elon Musk are necessary. Not only is he inspiring the birth of new companies, but he is also ensuring that they can grow by being close to the Trump administration and having the potential to influence policy. It may seem that Musk is just doing it for his own benefit; and yes, if he succeeds he does profit from this, but as he puts it, it’s for the “greater good.” Musk is not there to support the immigration ban or any other recent controversies; he is there to ensure that the U.S. remains on a path to clean, sustainable energy. He has been consistent and vocal about his anxieties about the degradation of the environment for a long time. It may seem like I’m kissing ass with article, but the world seriously need a man like Elon Musk to help the U.S. remain on a clean path during a time where the government is focused on keeping people out instead of looking to secure humanity's future.