Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has been historically known for being a strong advocate for renewable energy, electric vehicles, and to push humans into being an interplanetary species. And he does all three with his various enterprises, stretched between Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity. However, with the Russia-Ukraine war pushing fuel prices to record highs, Musk has been counter-intuitively calling for America to increase its oil and gas output. On Twitter, the eccentric CEO has pointed out that the global shift to renewable energy can’t accelerate fast enough to protect the consumers from higher prices in the short term. Those old enough to remember will recall that record-high gas prices and a stock market crash fueled by the bursting of the housing bubble created a recession back in 2008, and took years for the country to recoup from the losses.
Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
Record Gas Prices: Is Elon Musk Right?
Even as electric and fuel efficient vehicle drivers and advocates have been busy pontificating about how this rise in oil prices somehow serves the V8 car and truck buying populace right, they need to remember that this fuel crisis affects everybody. As the world’s biggest vehicles will continue to run on fossil fuel for years to come, high prices at the pump will ripple through the market of most goods in services. From delivery fees, to prices of goods at the grocery store, to higher energy rates.
According to GasBuddy data, the national price for Regular gasoline has reached a new record, surpassing $4 a gallon. This comes just two years after the price of oil went negative for a brief time.
BREAKING: According to GasBuddy data, the US national average has JUST set a new all-time record: $4.104/gallon, eclipsing 2008’s record of $4.103/gal. The higher prices this time will likely stay around far longer. #oil #gasprices https://t.co/8RgHCC9sK3
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) March 7, 2022
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” Musk stated on Twitter. “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
Musk’s call is echoed by oil industry leaders that are also calling for support to boost production. At this time, the Biden administration is weighing imposing a ban on U.S. imports of Russian crude oil. According to people familiar with the matter, a similar idea was dismissed earlier. Musk has also advocated that European nations need to implement nuclear energy as soon as possible.
For those who (mistakenly) think this is a radiation risk, pick what you think is the worst location. I will travel there & eat locally grown food on TV.
I did this in Japan many years ago, shortly after Fukushima. Radiation risk is much, much lower than most people believe.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2022
This is a time when big oil and Elon Musk are on the same page regarding increasing oil and gas production. But, as Musk stated, extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.
Crude oil peaked at $130 a barrel (West Texas Intermediate) or $139 (Brent) for a short while on Sunday night. Not too far off from the highest price recorded in history at $147.02 on July 11, 2008, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.