Following Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet announcing his disapproval of President Trump withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called out the tech billionaire for his hypocrisy.
In protest of Trump’s decision, Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, tweeted that he would be “departing presidential councils,” and contended that “Climate change is real.” Musk went on to write that “Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Cruz took to Twitter hours later, mocking Musk’s hypocrisy, noting that the billionaire regularly utilizes a private jet for his travels around the country. If Musk was truly dedicated to reducing the world’s carbon output, Cruz contended, he would fly commercial airlines instead of private jets.
In support of Paris, CA billionaires pledge to never again fly private, will only fly commercial. J/K–will quit symbolic councils instead. https://t.co/58QdYaoZVH
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 2, 2017
Musk’s frequent use of his private jet—which he upgraded in 2016 from a Dassault Falcon 900 B to a Gulfstream G650 ER—has been widely criticized. According to Breitbart, “It was reported in 2010 that Musk took private jets to Washington on at least 12 occasions over the course of two years to lobby the Department of Energy for a loan of $465 million, which Musk’s company, Tesla, was eventually granted.”
Tesla also negotiated deals around the same time with the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority that exempted the company from up to $320 million in California State sales and U.S. taxes.
Despite his liberal use of private jets, Musk has been a staunch supporter of carbon taxes and has said, “All we are doing [with a carbon tax] is trying to match the inherent subsidy for fossil fuels… on the sustainable energy side. Fossil fuels are already getting a massive subsidy if you believe in global warming. If you don’t then [the subsidy] seems really unfair. If you do then it is like oh we are just trying to correct it.”
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