Fresh off presenting his plan for making renewable energy sources the wave of the future at last week’s Paris climate summit, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed harder for a global carbon tax and a new look at solar power at a Tuesday meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
During the confab, the electric car-making tycoon fleshed-out his support of a world-wide climate carbon tax, explaining that right now the costs for fossil fuel-based energy production are all “wrong.” Fossil fuel producers, according to Musk, are protected from the “consequences of the consumption of their product.”
Musk spoke to students at Paris Sorbonne university campus Dec. 2 about climate change, assuring the group of climate activists that “we are going to exit the fossil fuel era. It is inevitable.”
He also said that the prices on carbon emissions are too low. “By putting a price on carbon, we are fixing a pricing error in the market,” he added. “Any price will be better than the close to zero we have right now,” he added.
Musk doubled down on this claim at the AGU meeting.
“When the prices are wrong, then the wrong thing happens in the economy,” Musk told the crowd of mostly scientists, adding, “We’re ‘incenting’ bad behavior. It’s kinda like if we had high taxes on fruits and vegetables, and low taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. That wouldn’t make sense. That’s sort of what we have right now with respect to energy.”
The head of Tesla Motors said that the proceeds from the carbon tax would go to alternative renewable energies, like solar, wind, and nuclear power. Musk believes powering the United States with solar power and battery storage is doable, event claiming at the AGU meeting that carving out a “small corner of Utah and Nevada” to solar panels could provide the country with all the power it needs.
Musk is the chairman of up-and-coming solar power company Solar City. His Tesla Motors is also involved in maximum efficient batteries that can be used in tandem with home solar energy systems.