Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk has called on the United States to increase domestic oil production in response to Russiaof the invasion of Ukraine, while acknowledging that its electric car business would be negatively affected by this decision.
“Hate to say this, but we need to increase oil and gas production immediately,” Musk tweeted on Friday. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.”
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Musk added, “Obviously this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot respond instantly to offset Russian oil and gas exports.”
The Biden administration has faced an increase critical on 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 disturbed energy markets around the world.
Additionally, reports showed that the United States buys 650,000 barrels a day from Russia, which some have argued essentially funds Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war machine.
Russia is the producer of one in 10 barrels of oil consumed in the world, according to the New York Times, making it the world’s third largest oil producer.
On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken minimized the idea of sanctioning the Russian energy sector by arguing that the United States has “no strategic interest” in doing so.
Musk’s initial Twitter post was retweeted nearly 20,000 times within 30 minutes of posting.
“The founder of an electric car company says baby drill!” AEI Senior Fellow Marc Thiessen responded.
“The wisdom of a man whose business would not be helped by what he recommends,” tweeted Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume.
“America is funding Russia’s war by buying Russian oil and gas rather than producing ours,” Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert replied.
Minutes after the call to increase oil production, Musk tweeted again showing his solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“Hang on Ukraine,” Musk tweeted. “And also my sympathies to the great people of Russia, who do not want this.”