After it was revealed that Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk donated $33,900 to a Republican PAC (less than 10% of the $371,500 donated by both Houston Texans owner Robert McNair and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson), Zerohedge mused at the liberal outrage over one of their “climate change” champions:
Who knew that the black swan – or rather “red elephant” – that could destroy Tesla was not its staggering cash burn rate, which last quarter went through $12 million every day, would be the “shocking” discovery that the opportunistic self-proclaimed “socialist” CEO with a penchant for taxpayer subsidies was in fact… a closet republican.
Earlier today, ProPublica published filings which revealed that Elon Musk is a top donor to a Republican PAC named Protect the House and aimed at keeping control of Congress. The PAC raised over $8 million in in the second quarter for Republican lawmakers hoping to fend off Democratic challengers.
Nice to know the person responsible for making electric cars is able to divorce himself from climate change by donating to the very people who deny its existence. I traded my Tesla in last week after my friend’s Tesla caught on fire, so I saved a trip https://t.co/rDqiERd8qt
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) July 14, 2018
Elon Musk, a billionaire who is hostile to the press and sat on Trump’s advisory council until the publicity proved untenable, unmasked as top donor to House Republican PAC. https://t.co/2nYHFxv0cX via @thedailybeast
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) July 14, 2018
Guess I won't be buying a Tesla. Oh, well.
— Laurie Antonioli (@IntrinsicMusic) July 14, 2018
Indeed, further digging into Musk’s political giving since 2003 reveals a remarkable even-handedness, with the serial entrepreneur donating $258,350 to Democratic candidates and $261,300 to Republicans. Musk, like many executives, spreads his donations around; during the last election cycle, he gave money to both Democratic President Barack Obama and current Republican presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham.
…and Musk gave roughly the exact same amount to a Republican PAC almost exactly one year ago:
At the end of March, for example, Musk chipped in $50,000 to an organization run by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that’s meant to boost his GOP allies. Musk also donated roughly $34,000 to the Republican Party’s official arm for electing lawmakers to the chamber, federal records show.
Whether one considers Musk’s donation strategy to be shrewd business, duplicitous action, or just plain old two-faced behavior, it is quite amusing that liberals have all of a sudden decided to abandon Musk and his vehicles when he has a lengthy and documented track record of donations to Republican politicians in opposition to the “climate change” movement that Musk claims to advocate.
Musk’s actions to “save the environment” appear to be even more two-faced when you take a closer look at Tesla’s manufacturing procedures. Free Market Shooter has previously documented how environmentally (and taxpayer) unfriendly Tesla vehicles are, and their gigafactory is no exception:
It’s hardly the only way Tesla’s manufacturing process is anything but emissions-free. Just take a look at their factory:
Even TreeHugger.com, of all places, muses at the irony of the Tesla plant:
The factory is in the middle of nowhere, really — 23 miles from the nearest city of any size, Reno, Nevada. If we assume that this is the average distance workers are commuting (and it is likely a lot farther), that the cars are powered by gasoline, and that they are average size, then according to the EPA they pump out about 411 grams of CO2 per mile or 18.9 kilograms per round trip. Multiply that by 3,000 and you have 57 tonnes of CO2 generated every day just by the the workers driving to the factory. The average car puts out 4.7 tonnes per year. So every day that the Gigafactory workers drive to work to make batteries for carbon-saving electric cars, they generate as much CO2 as 12 conventional cars do in a year.
That is to say, for every 2,500 battery packs and driving units that leave the Gigafactory, an additional 1,000 pieces of “nonconforming material” is created. Half of that will be reworked and put into other car parts. The other half becomes scrap.
The cost of scrap has become so dramatic that, internally, Tesla documents sometimes quantify the amount of money wasted by comparing it to another eye-popping number — like the scrap cost’s equivalent measured in miles of $5 footlong Subway sandwiches (137.11 miles, in one case).
Two charts showing inverter scrap costs from the start of the year to the end of May were accompanied by a calculation of how many new Model 3s someone could buy with the money wasted — 103.42 cars, to be exact.
A similar set of charts calculating scrap costs for rotors noted that it could have purchased 4,878 hats for Musk’s Boring Company, priced at about $20 apiece.
Musk’s disregard for the environment is as bad in his personal life as it is in his business life. This author has previously documented the hypocrisy of Musk’s travel habits in his Gulfstream G650ER jet…
Musk has come under fire previously for his liberal use of his private jet, which he upgraded last year from a Dassault Falcon 900 B to a Gulfstream G650 ER. It was reported in 2010 that Musk took private jets to Washington on at least 12 occasions over the course of two years to lobby the Department of Energy for a loan of $465 million, which Musk’s company Tesla was eventually granted.
Around the same time, Tesla also struck deals with the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority that made the company exempt from up to $320 million in California State sales and U.S. taxes.
…but again, Twitter user @iamhubris has documented how egregiously often Musk uses his G650ER:
The amount of fuel in this ONE leg is ~ what a normal 25mpg car burns in an entire Year
— Elon’s Con.science (Elon 2.0) (@iamhubris) July 15, 2018
In the span of just three weeks, Musk took 13 trips on his private jet to “commute” around California, Nevada and Alaska. Though the majority of these trips are likely far shorter than the aforementioned 12 trips he took to DC to secure tax breaks, they clearly demonstrate the willful disregard Musk has for his own carbon emissions, in direct contrast to his platform as a “climate change” pioneer.
This of course pales in comparison to the emissions of Musk’s SpaceX rockets, which use additional fuel to recover the rockets upright on the ground:
The astrophysicist Ian Whittaker wrote that the SpaceX rocket that launched from the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on Wednesday burned a massive amount of fuel.
The rocket held 440 tons of jet fuel, which has a high carbon content, meaning it releases a lot of carbon dioxide into the air when burned. If SpaceX meets its target of launching a rocket every two weeks, then the company will be releasing roughly 4,000 tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, Whittaker calculated.
While it is more than conspicuous to see Musk involved in the high-emissions rocket business, it is downright two-faced to see SpaceX implement a rocket system that uses a great deal of fuel on recovery, instead of using traditional recovery methods to retrieve boosters without using the extra fuel of SpaceX’s landing rockets:
Out of 270 SRBs launched over the Shuttle program, all but four were recovered – those from STS-4 (due to a parachute malfunction) and STS-51-L (Challenger disaster). Over 5,000 parts were refurbished for reuse after each flight. The final set of SRBs that launched STS-135 included parts that flew on 59 previous missions, including STS-1. Recovery also allowed post-flight examination of the boosters, identification of anomalies, and incremental design improvements.
Clearly, it’s far more than Musk’s politics that are two-faced – his personal and business habits are anything but the “low emissions” he promises with the vehicles he delivers. However, the irony of liberals choosing to abandon him over his latest $34,000 donation to a Republican PAC reeks of virtue signaling, especially considering he did the exact same thing last year.
Lest of course you forget how Musk made his billions in the first place…
…which was, of course, his successful venture with his very pro-Trump and Republican business partner, Peter Thiel.
Regardless of how Elon has changed his appearance (on the outside and inside), his documented history demonstrates that at best, he is an extremely shrewd businessman who is able to capitalize on public opinion to make money. But, at worst, he is indeed two-faced with far more than his political donations.