‘Hate to say this’: Elon Musk, CEO of clean energy firm Tesla, calls for increase in oil, gas output

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Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk has called for an urgent increase in oil and gas output as Russia’s state-owned companies face sanctions over the Ukraine war. Musk, co-founder of an electric vehicle and clean energy company, said that the move would “negatively affect” Tesla but acknowledged that sustainable energy solutions cannot instantaneously make up for Russian oil and gas exports.

“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” Tesla CEO wrote on Twitter.

“Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports,” he added.

The price of crude oil continued its surge on Friday as it ended the week on multi-year highs after oil buyers shunned imports from Russia, the world’s second-largest exporter of crude after Saudi Arabia. While Canada banned imports of Russian oil earlier this week, UK foreign minister said that Britain will look to target Russia’s energy industry in a future round of sanctions.

The Biden administration has also been under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to impose tougher sanctions on Russia, including its oil companies, as Moscow wages war in Ukraine. A Reuters/Ipsos poll suggests that most Americans are in favour of banning Russian oil imports.

The chairman of Texas’s energy regulator wrote to US President Joe Biden asking to ban imports of Russian oil and support a ramp-up of US production.

“Internationally, countries and companies are divesting and boycotting from Putin’s Russia and looking to source locally and from allies,” the Railroad Commission of Texas’s Wayne Christian said in a letter to Biden on Friday. “The U.S. shouldn’t be any different. We can and should be self-reliant — let’s source and buy American.”


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