- Asa Mathat | D: All Things Digital
Elon Musk is reportedly using his access to President Donald Trump to push for a carbon tax.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said the Trump administration should consider a carbon tax at a White House meeting he attended Monday morning, a senior official at the White House told Bloomberg. The official said the proposal got little to no support from the other executives in attendance.
Ford CEO Mark Fields, along with executives from Lockheed Martin, Whirlpool, Under Armour, and Johnson & Johnson, were in attendance at the Monday meeting in the Roosevelt Room.
Tesla declined to comment for this article.
Musk surprisingly endorsed Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, for secretary of state earlier this week. Musk said Tillerson could be an excellent choice as a “competent executive” who also happens to support a carbon tax.
Both Musk and Tillerson have argued for a revenue neutral carbon tax that would incentivize companies to use energy sources that emit less carbon while reducing other taxes to level the playing field.
Tillerson said in a 2009 speech that a carbon tax is the “most efficient means of reflecting the cost of carbon in all economic decisions.”
Tillerson, a former climate denier, has admitted to the reality of increasing CO2 emissions. But as Vox points out, Tillerson has also said there are more “pressing priorities” than climate change and that humans can adapt to any weather changes caused by global warming in 2012 and 2013 comments.
Musk has publicly called for a carbon tax for years, including the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference.