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Elon Musk wants a war with the fossil fuel industry

Published May 6th, 2016 9:45PM EDT

The fossil fuel industry is not exactly beloved, but it has us in a bind since we’re still so dependent on oil for our energy needs. The Guardian brings us word that Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes it’s time to really take the fight to the fossil fuels industry so we can really pave the way for cleaner energy alternatives. While talking at the World Energy Innovation Forum at the Tesla Factory in California this week, Musk decried the lobbying power that the oil and gas industries have over politicians in Washington and other capitals around the world.

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Specifically, it sounds like Musk would happily do away with the subsidies that electric cars get right now if it meant introducing a carbon tax that would raise costs for CO2-emitting vehicles.

“The fundamental issue with fossil fuels is that every use comes with a subsidy,” Musk said. “Every gasoline car on the road has a subsidy, and the right way to address that is with a carbon tax. Politicians take the easy path of providing subsidies to electric vehicles, which aren’t equal to the applied subsidies of gasoline vehicles. It weakens the economic forcing function to transition to sustainable transport and energy.”

While that sounds nice in the abstract, taxing carbon will undoubtedly be politically unpopular since it will inevitably raise costs for anyone who still relies on fossil fuels for their energy needs. This is typically why, to use Musk’s language, politicians take the “easy path” of providing subsidies.

Check out more of Musk’s remarks on taking the fight to the fossil fuels industry at this link.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.