Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk called on the United States to increase its domestic oil output in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while also acknowledging that his electric car company would be negatively affected by that move.
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately,” Musk tweeted Friday. “Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”
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Musk added, “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
The Biden administration has faced increased criticism from both sides of the aisle in recent days for not doing more to focus on American energy production in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted energy markets worldwide.
Additionally, reports have shown that the U.S. is buying 650,000 barrels a day from Russia, which some have argued is essentially financing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war machine.
Russia is the producer of one out of every 10 barrels of oil consumed by the world, according to the New York Times, making it the third-largest oil producer in the world.
On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken downplayed the notion of sanctioning Russia’s energy sector arguing that the United States has “no strategic interest” in doing so.
Musk’s initial Twitter post was retweeted almost 20,000 times within 30 minutes of being posted.
“Founder of electric car company says drill baby drill!” AEI Senior Fellow Marc Thiessen responded.
“Wisdom from man whose company would not be helped by what he is recommending,” Fox News Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume tweeted.
“America is funding Russia’s war by buying Russian oil and gas rather than producing our own,” Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert responded.
Minutes after the call to increase oil production, Musk tweeted again showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“Hold strong Ukraine,” Musk tweeted. “And also my sympathies to the great people of Russia, who do not want this.”