Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk claimed Wednesday at a forum discussing energy issues that the fossil fuel industry used the Los Angeles Times to push so called anti-renewable energy propaganda. The techno-wonder boy called on people to revolt against oil producers and other fossil fuel companies at the World Energy Innovation Forum (WEIF), saying they are involved in an elaborate, well-coordinated effort to take down Musk and his companies.
That effort apparently involves reporting the totally true existence of a financial relationship between Musk and the federal government.
“We need to appeal to the people – educate people to sort of revolt against this and to fight the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous,” Musk said.
Here is a video of Musk’s comments:
The titular head of Tesla then jumped into conspiratorial waters, suggesting the LA Times asserted Musk’s companies received nearly $5 billion in subsidies on request from the oil industry.
Musk said the report was a plant from fossil fuel companies meant to counter an International Monetary Fund study showing the industry, as a whole, benefited from nearly $5 trillion in government subsidies.
He erroneously said the oil industry received $6 trillion in subsidies — the number was actually $5.3 trillion in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“After the IMF came out with their study showing that fossil fuels are subsidized to the tune of $6 trillion a year – like $6 trillion per year,” Musk said at the forum. “Then some representatives from the oil and gas industry added up all the incentives that Tesla had received and will receive in the future, which happens to coincide with the $6 billion figure.”
He then went on to suggest that oil industry lobbyists used a “6” in their assertion as a way to dupe LA Times readers, and people who would be none the wiser.
“They wanted it [the figure] to start with a ‘6’. So roughly a month or two after the IMF study came out, they started shopping that story around to journalists: “Tesla is getting a $6 billion subsidy” and it sounds a bit like a “$6 trillion subsidy,” he said, adding: “It has a ‘6’ in it and ‘billion’ or ‘trillion’, you know, it’s kind of close.”
Musk added that the federal subsidies Tesla received included all of those for which the company had ever received.
The LA Times argued they conducted the report themselves.