Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, who has joined President Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, said that there should be “more voices of reason” reaching into the Oval Office.
“The more voices of reason that the President hears, the better,” he told Gizmodo in a chat exchange. Musk’s assertion is in response to a question about his optimism for a carbon tax policy under Trump, who has repeatedly denied that climate change is man-made.
The SpaceX founder brushed off the question as “missing the point,” before suggesting that the President wouldn’t be swayed by the media or the people. “Simply attacking him will achieve nothing. Are you aware of a single case where Trump bowed to protests or media attacks?” he asked.
“Better that there are open channels of communication.”
Musk also explained why he supported former ExxonMobil (XOM) CEO Rex Tillerson to become Secretary of State—an unlikely pairing between one of the world’s leading electric car manufacturers and someone who rose through the ranks of Big Oil. Musk first expressed his support for Tillerson earlier this week on Twitter, and later said that he was drawn by the Exxon alum’s support for a carbon tax, saying: “This is what is really needed to move the needle.” ExxonMobil was the first major oil company to call for a tax on CO2 emissions back in 2009.
“He has publicly acknowledged for years that a carbon tax could make sense. There is no better person to push for that to become a reality than Tillerson. This is what matters far more than pipelines or opening oil reserves,” the Silicon Valley billionaire elaborated.
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“In the [Secretary] of State role, he is obligated to advance the cause of the U.S. and I suspect he probably will,” he added.
Musk also explained to Gizmodo his own rationale for pricing CO2 emissions, writing that the lack of monetary cost for pumping CO2 into the atmosphere “results in an error in market signals and far more CO2 is generated than should be.“