Elon Musk Shows Support For Appointment Of Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson To Secretary Of State

5 months ago by Steven Loveday 126

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is playing the game, and playing it well. Time will tell who wins.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent quite the storm of Tweets regarding former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s confirmation to the position of Secretary of State. The Tweets were not what one would expect from Musk, but instead, were positive … even complimentary.

Former Exxon Modil CEO Rex Tillerson, Image Credit:

Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Image Credit: All-len-All

The plethora of reasons that Elon Musk is referring to, when saying that his stance is surprising, are probably pretty obvious. But, the short of it is that Tillerson is an ex-oil tycoon with a hatred for electric vehicles. And Musk is … well you get the point. Tillerson once told Bloomberg (of electrified vehicles):

“We look at the science and we think it’s a very, very daunting challenge.”

Let’s face it … the Trump administration doesn’t really buy the whole climate change issue. However, Trump himself has said that he does care for the environment. Elon is smart enough to know that pushing the climate change issue is not the way into the hearts of people like Rex Tillerson. We can’t imagine that – although Musk has gone so far in the past – he would reTweet this information to Trump and the gang, at this point in the game:

So, to get the support of the new administration, Musk has to bank on the good points. He needs to point out the positive and play the game. It’s almost as if he’s putting words in the mouth of the new administration and then praising them for such valid beliefs. However, in truth, Tillerson and Trump likely didn’t mean such concepts in context. But they are getting credit and positive social media engagement – something that this administration has surely seen a shortage of.

Musk seems to be doing everything in his power to “make nice” with Trump and his administration. He’s on the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, and he has met with Trump on two occasions thus far. One, when Trump was not yet in office, and the other on Trump’s first day as president.

It sure will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Source: Electrek

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126 responses to "Elon Musk Shows Support For Appointment Of Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson To Secretary Of State"

  1. pjwood1 says:

    Things are not getting comfy. The State Department just walked out, under Tillerson, whose never held any job other than Exxon. What are we in for? Trade deals, with weapons pointed (er, withdrawn for Russian pillage)?

    1. needa says:

      It was one guy and his three aides. Some are saying they were told to leave. I don’t know if that is to save face or not. Either way… the world will go on.

      1. Ziv says:

        The lead guy of the 4 that walked was Patrick F. Kennedy. And he is known most for the allegations that he pressured the FBI to declassify secure communications that Hillary Clinton had already compromised. There was later a “re-investigation” in which the FBI changed its position and said that they had in fact NOT been pressured.
        He looks like a political hack. State can do better.

        1. SJC says:

          Rex is there to get Russian oil.
          That is suppose to be State doing better?

    2. Sri says:

      Exxon operates its own global intelligence wing. People underestimating Rex Tillerson, do not know how world works. That man is probably the most competent guy in this entire cabinet. He has good relationship with Russia because Russia has oil, that is his job.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Scott Pruitt has a good relationship with Devon. Very competent, I’m sure. That doesn’t make him a good EPA Administrator.

        We’re taking a total flyer, on these people changing their spots. At this point, not much more Musk or the rest can do.

        1. Sri says:

          Who is talking about Scott Pruitt ? If you want to win the argument, I give you the trophy. You won Man! now do your touch down dance.

          1. pjwood1 says:

            Not trying to win. Maybe we don’t agree on what type of competency the U.S. ought to be looking for.

  2. Another (Euro) industrial point of view says:

    I agree with Elon Musk on that one. It seems Elon is adapting remarkably well to this new political environment which is a sign of maturity. I hope it will inspire some to be a bit less hysterical and give the guy some time before judging. It proves Elon is clever which is not obvious when he makes presentations/talks in public. Probably he believes the general public is rather stupid so he delivers what he thinks this public is able to believe/understand. It gives me hope Tesla will do good in the long run.

    1. Assaf says:

      Sometimes one needs to adapt, at other times to resist.

      Overall, this is the time to resist. Thus far in 2 months of transition and one week of governing, there is zero evidence of goodwill or reality-based policy making from this Administration. Rather, the evidence points in the other direction.

      Elon is a great tech leader and CEO, but he’s never been a particularly good politician. I think it’s pretty clear he’s being played as a fig-leaf.

      1. ArkansasVolt says:

        depends on what you call goodwill or reality based policies…

        based on latest executive orders

        removal from TPP… even Hillary Clinton agreed with Trump on that one.

        federal hiring freeze… it is better to evaluate a group that may need to be reduced than to offer a job to someone that may get cut in a short time.

        true there are political items like pipeline and abortion. but your point was that there is zero evidence of goodwill or reality based policy. there is some evidence of reality based policy. goodwill depending on your thoughts of abortion. those that feel abortion as murder could see that funding to entities that perform or promote abortion would be appalling.

    2. David Murray says:

      Indeed.. Musk is an important figure, but he doesn’t need to make enemies with the Trump administration. He might manage to poke Trump in the eye and annoy him, but Trump might end up squashing Musk in the process. Trump has already shown himself to be vengeful. He doesn’t seem to care what his opponents think of him. So he’s just going to do what pleases himself and (maybe) his supporters. It’s probably best that Elon plays nice with him.

      1. Kdawg says:

        “He doesn’t seem to care what his opponents think of him.”
        ———-
        Unless you’re Meryl Streep. Or SNL.
        #thinskin

    3. no comment says:

      first of all, elon musk is a businessman. rex tillerson is also a businessman. i take musk’s statement to mean that he believes that tillerson could be good for business as secretary of state.

      as to the personal beliefs of rex tillerson, this article presents absolutely no evidence that tillerson has any personal hatred of electric vehicles.

    4. Me Martin Winlow says:

      Given that a large section – possibly the majority – of the World’s ‘general public’ believe that our planet and everything on it was created by a fluffy-bearded old dude living somewhere… ‘up there’, Mr Musk’s apparent assessment is probably about right.

  3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

    This will cause much consternation to Tesla fanboiz and cult members.

    1. Anon says:

      Why? Making nice with a 4 year or less Autocrat who currently has power over your various business activities (Automotive, Space, Energy)– is most wise.

      Please explain your position on the issue…

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Your numerous posts in this thread reveal that you are very consterned. 😉

    2. Chris O says:

      I’m sure that’s what the anti-Tesla hate cult hopes but really it’s quite understandable that a guy who is an executive in multiple industries that heavily rely on government regulations should seek what unites rather than what divides, regardless of what happens to be the flavour of the day in Washington.

      For instance: Trump likes the “made in America” thing for employment reasons and Musk happens to be working on the highest US made content car in the world so it makes sense to take the employment rather than the climate change angle when approaching this particular administration. The environment will still benefit, even if it’s just an unintended side effect.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “I’m sure that’s what the anti-Tesla hate cult hopes…”

        Well said, sir.

        “Anti-Tesla hate cult” is, unfortunately, a pretty accurate description.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          – said Big Oil shill Pu-pu :/
          You always taught us infidels that Big Oil shills and conspirators are lurking around, trying to undermine the Great Leader EM (EM doesn’t mean Exxon-Mobil here) fighting for the bright future. Now you trying suggest that it is ok to go in bed with “Big Oil” as long as it suits you :/ Isn’t it a bit contradictory?

      2. no comment says:

        musk has to play both angles because the business segments in which he operates depend upon government subsidies.

    3. speculawyer says:

      Any point to your message besides just trolling? Pathetic.

    4. Nix says:

      Obvious troll is Obvious. Obviously.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        It wasn’t to Anon!

  4. KUD says:

    Isn’t it funny that climate change is real when it concerns his money

    http://time.com/4345367/donald-trump-climate-change-golf-course/

    1. Anon says:

      Hypocrisy should be the least of our worries. For exmaple: A delusional leader spending Federal money for an investigation into Voter Fraud (Long Debunked)– when several of his own family / supporters were dual registered to vote in multiple states. It would not be hard to make a case Chump is unfit to serve for office…

      Ah, I feel like I’m living in a Black Mirror Episode.

      1. mx says:

        How to explain the Horrendously Bad Policy?
        Repubs aren’t that stupid, unless this is a simulation, of a failed Earth.

        Some ******* Kid on a PS4001, is making us **** our pants.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Anon said:

        “I feel like I’m living in a Black Mirror Episode.”

        Dan Rather said he felt like he was living in a “Twilight Zone” episode, last night on the Rachel Maddow show. I’m not familiar with “Black Mirror”, but I know exactly what Dan means.

        And I completely agree that we shouldn’t be wasting time complaining about the extreme level of hypocrisy coming from the Trumpsters. What we should be very concerned about, and what we are already seeing a rising tide of political activism against, is the damage that the Trumpsters are going to do to America itself, its political institutions, and its relations with other countries.

        This is a self-inflicted disaster which, barring some unforeseen and highly unlikely swift-acting miracle, will have lingering effects long after The Donald has left office.

        Resist.

        https://www.indivisibleguide.com/web/

      3. ffbj says:

        Alternative facts, which lead to a view which is alternative reality, require immediate legislation to remedy. And so the exhortation will be to add more proofs in order to vote, because this is one more DT fake crisis, as it is with Republicans.

        Since they can’t win the popular vote they will gerrymander and cry foul, saying that people are voting illegally. Of course that is only if they lose, but with Trump his mind is essentially overthrown.

  5. William says:

    St. Elon is pretty smart. He will get a leg up on some of his competitors, in his other business ventures. Can’t wait for the signing of his new tunneling contracts here in So. Cal. Those deals should put a lot of the Caddyshack Gophers back on the chain gang, around here.⛳️?

  6. Spider-Dan says:

    Seems like Elon is more willing to compromise on oil executives than he is on, say, standardizing charging connectors for EVs.

    1. Anon says:

      Maybe when other EV’s can charge at more than 135 kW, something may be done about it? 😉

      But seriously, the Models S/X have an adapter to fit most every outlet and charger type, except CCS. That’s far more gracious than any other automaker’s EV’s have accommodated to date. So stop whining.

      1. Roy_H says:

        Tesla does have an adapter for the J1772 Level 2 but not the high power DC. I am surprised that this top option for CCS is not available. Anybody know if it is available from a third party?

        1. Jelloslug says:

          Tesla has a chademo adapter.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Limited to 50 kW by Tesla, even if a charger can output 120 kW.

            Suggesting mainstream use of such adapters at 350 kW / 1000 V is delusional. They would be too heavy, clumsy and even dangerous.

            It is good we don’t have Tesla gas stations yet, so we don’t need proprietary adapters to fill gas :/ Or maybe we will have now if new State Secretary will invent some better subsidy program for gas :/

    2. speculawyer says:

      Spider-Dan, you need to look at the WHOLE history, not just the current situation. When Tesla was designing the Model S there was no DC-fast-charging system other than Chademo . . . and Chademo was slow and really kludgy. The SAE were dragging their feet on DC fast-charging and not even looking to make something fast enough.

      And furthermore, it was clear that no one was going to make the big needed investment to deploy a DC-fast charging infrastructure in a widespread and coordinated manner. So they designed their own system and backed it up. At the time, I thought they were making a huge mistake but they have proven me to be wrong.

      Tesla now has the only USA nationwide and Europe-wide DC fast charging system that can really fast charge vehicles at an acceptable rate. This may now be their BIGGEST COMMERCIAL ADVANTAGE. Other DC fast-charging systems are slower, thinly deployed, and deployed in a haphazard manner instead of a coordinated manner that enables long distance travel.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Whatever bicycle with square wheels system they were inventing, they didn’t needed to invent proprietary plug, even 2 plugs, one in the US, another in Europe. Chademo or CCS plugs work at 120 kW / 400 V just fine as shown in practice, and may handle more. That is assuming the high tale about wanting to help EV deployment by anybody is true.

        On the other side, if the idea was to create walled garden and monopolize the market taking everything under control, they done what was needed. But still, as CCS receives much more government money in Europe, Tesla may get marginalized itself unless it upgrades to open standard.

  7. Get Real says:

    Not as funny as sven’s constant spin and misinformation regarding Tesla supporters.

    Bottom line is, Musk and Tesla are in good shape vis a vis Trump compared the laggard Big 3 OEMs because unlike them Tesla is manufacturing as much as possible in the US.

    As far as Tillerson, he himself said that Climate Change is real which is light years ahead of your increasingly delusional Fuhrer Trump mr. sven.

    So who should really have consternation now is you sven!

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Did the Tesla Cult give you those talking points?

      Whatever happened to your BFF, RexxSee? Is RexxSee really Rex Tillerson, who was just trolling all of us on InsideEVs and other green car websites with his all his ranting about an Auto-Petrol Cartel? In hindsight, the “exx” in RexxSee’s screen name mirroring the “exx” in Exxon seems like more than just a mere coincidence.

      1. Get Real says:

        No Tesla “Cult” sven.

        The only cult on display here is your love of your Fuhrer Trump.

        But, like all manipulators, I’m sure you will start walking that back eventually when Trump does something really stupid.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          The first rule of Tesla Cult is don’t talk about Tesla Cult. The second rule of Tesla Cult is don’t talk about Tesla cult. And don’t talk about Fight Club either!

          This will probably make you happy. In NYC, I’m already suffering more than most here since Trump has been elected (and after he won the nomination). I’ve been constantly stuck in grid-lock traffic with all the demonstrations in NYC around Trump Tower, Trump International Hotel, last weekend’s protest march by an entire gender, and yesterday’s pop-up protests against the border wall, etc. At least I was in EV mode while stuck in gridlock traffic, unlike everybody else around me. 😀

        2. AlphaEdge says:

          > “But, like all manipulators, I’m sure you will start walking that back eventually when Trump does something really stupid.”

          Where is the outrage over these “sanctuary” cities, that harbor illegal aliens?

          No wonder Trump won.

          1. Nick says:

            Otherization is strong with Trump.

            “They” are to blame for the inequalities and excesses of capitalism and western society. Don’t look at yourself, others are to blame.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        sven said:

        “Did the Tesla Cult give you those talking points?”

        It has become very easy to identify members of the anti-Tesla hate cult. They’re the only ones who describe fans of one particular brand of cars as a “cult”. Is there a Ford cult? A Toyota cult? A Chevy cult? Nope. According to them, just a Tesla “cult”.

        There’s a cult here, all right. Sven is one of the most prominent members of the anti-Tesla hate cult!

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Dear cult member Pu-Pu,

          You’re in denial.

        2. Elon Musk says:

          “Dear cult members, I love you”

  8. Mark C says:

    If you want to make change happen in the new administration, I’m pretty sure you don’t start by kicking the person you’re dealing with in the head.

    Time will tell which side of history the new President Trump administration lands on. For all our sakes, I’m praying for science to win over politics.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Time will tell which side of history the new President Trump administration lands on.”

      I take it you have not been watching or reading the news. I mean real news, not fake news.

      In his first session at the White House podium, the new White House press secretary spent his entire time venting his rage — and I’m not exaggerating here; it was rage and not mere anger — at the press for not accepting the Trumpsters’ Big Lie about the size of the crowd at The Donald’s inauguration ceremony. And then he walked off without taking any questions.

      Reports are that The Donald was displeased that the anger he showed wasn’t strong enough.

      This is, as one pundit put it: “The new abnormal”.

    2. Kdawg says:

      “For all our sakes, I’m praying for science to win over politics.”
      ———–

      FYI there’s going to be a nationwide march for science.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/donald-trump-science-march-washington-climate-change-global-warming-a7547206.html

      1. ffbj says:

        HaHa! Now that was funny on a very subtle level.

  9. Warren Hurd says:

    I will take my Trump edition Tesla in Red state Red with a Gold lame interior. 😉

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      The Trump edition Tesla also comes in Cheetos Orange exterior paint color.

      1. Nix says:

        Even an orange Tesla is still better than no Tesla at all.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Trump’s Telsa Roadster must look like this.

          http://theirearth.com/uploads/news/1215220983_tesla_roadster_2009_orange.jpg

          1. AlphaEdge says:

            I want one, with a license plate in the front that says “TRUMP”, and MAGA on the back plate! 😉

      2. The Woodster says:

        Warren’s comment about the Trump Tesla was laugh out loud funny. Witty and well-played.

        Then Sven comes along with a stupid follow-up, trying to be funny, but instead just being derivative.

        Why amy I not surprised? His postings tend to be keyboard diarrhea anyway. I can’t recall him ever adding interesting content to a thread. It’s fine to be on the opposite side of an argument/discussion, but at least add something of value.

        Sven should get a medal for posting the most times using his favorite non-word, “fanboiz”, however.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I remember a time when Sven used to post interesting comments on many subjects. A time before he became a member of the anti-Tesla hate cult.

          Sadly, those days appear to be gone forever. 🙁

          1. Elon Musk says:

            “Dear cult members, I love you”

        2. ffbj says:

          Sven has been a valued member of the community for quite some time. Often finding stories and making other contributions. Actually he is quite funny, though it is true he harps against Tesla very heartily, but I think we can take it.

  10. M Hovis says:

    Not mentioned here, but what I took away from Musk’s continual build up of tweets was his agreement with Tillerson on a carbon tax. Musk has always been in favor of that and is choosing to agree with Tillerson strongly on that issue. He also gains nothing from picking a fight with this administration. Trump has already shown that he loves a fight even more so than facts.

    1. Anon says:

      Correct. Even if the initial amount of the tax is substantially undervalued in relation to the actual externalities of dumping carbon into the atmosphere / oceans, it’s a start. A needle can be moved over time. But there needs to be one, first.

    2. speculawyer says:

      Let’s be real here . . Exxon & Tillerson are NOT in favor of a carbon tax. They just say that in order to help avoid lawsuits. If you look at their actual political donations, they are to people AGAINST any carbon tax. And they still provide some funding to anti-climate propaganda outfits.

      Actions speak louder than words.

      1. Elon Musk says:

        But but … Elon himself told us that Tillerson is good guy??? My head is exploding!! Was Elon possessed and become a Big Oil shill now?
        Pu-pu, can you please come and explain everything??? You sure know all the Big Oil conspiracies around! We need your authoritative instructions to figure out what to think and what to talk, Pu-pu!

    3. pjwood1 says:

      Considering the speed with which Canadian provinces have adopted carbon taxes, I wouldn’t be surprised if one that pre-empted more states from pricing carbon came from the federal government. It would feature the same waiver, for those already pricing CO2 (CA & RGGI). Rex and Elon know predictable markets are better markets.

      (just like CA’s waiver) weren’t enacted for the very purpose Elon and Rex are getting at. Consistent, predictable federal action.

  11. Murrysville EV says:

    I’m a “denier” and love EVs, so there.

    1. Anon says:

      If you weren’t a “Anthropogenic Climate Change” Denier, you’d have far __MORE__ reason to love EVs. 😉

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Since are many reasons to like EVs even if you’re not someone who cares about ACC, “far _MORE_” is a bit of a stretch.

        1. Assaf says:

          If all the world’s governments and auto-tech leaders were reality-deniers like you, then you would have approximately ZERO EVs to “love” right now.

          #FAIL

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I disagree. The economics pushing the EV revolution are far more important than the politics.

            Certainly the EV revolution would not be proceeding as fast as it is without “green” activism, and certainly many of the “early adopters” of EVs have environmentalism as one of their motives, perhaps the main motive.

            But it’s not the environmental movement which is going to make gasmobiles obsolete. Driving an EV is much more pleasant than driving a gasmobile, so that’s going to be one reason. But the main reason is economics. In the long term oil is getting more expensive, and batteries are getting cheaper.

            It’s inevitable that at some point, the average car owner is going to prefer a plug-in EV to a gasmobile. Even hard-core global warming skeptics and deniers!

            1. Assaf says:

              Do you also “disagree” that everywhere in which EVs have thrived, there have been very generous government subsidies for EV, often coupled with mandates on automakers?

              And why, do you think, have those subsidies appeared? Because EVs drive smoother?

    2. speculawyer says:

      Perhaps you should take some science courses and read some scientific papers. Education is a good thing.

    3. Nick says:

      Yea! I don’t believe in the germ theory of disease and I like EVs too!

      BAWHAHAHAHA! 😀

  12. Nix says:

    Elon is playing the cards he has been dealt the best he can.

    Elon can do math. I’m sure he is aware that there are not half a dozen or so Republican Senators who will vote against Tillerson. Tillerson WILL be the next Sec. of State. Trump IS the President.

    Elon knows how to play chess. I’m sure he understands the same thing Vladimir Putin knows. Flattery gets you everywhere with the new administration. Flattery is how the current administration is steered into doing what you want.

    Elon knows his only chess move is to play the game by the rules as they are. That means doing exactly what he’s doing now. A Musk Rebellion against the powers in charge permanently puts Tesla on the outside of the game, completely powerless to influence policy. By using flattery in the face of inevitability, he at least maintains the ability to influence actual policy.

    ——————————

    I’m not happy about him saying this BS, and having to suck up to the current administration like this. But it all comes down to this:

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  13. speculawyer says:

    I think there may be an ulterior motive here . . .

    If Trump has Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry, and Vladimir Putin as advisors then those advisors are all going to push policies that drive up the price of oil in order to benefit their heavily oil dependent homes of Exxon, Oklahoma, Texas, and Russia. Thus, with this oil cabinet pushing oil prices higher, Tesla will benefit with more people wanting to get off oil.

    I know this may strike some people as backwards . . . they might think that those people want just want to help oil by reducing regulations. However, it is always about money. Did oil prices go way down with the oil presidency of Bush/Cheney? No, oil prices hit RECORD HIGHS.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Oil prices went to record highs because supply couldn’t keep up with growing demand. Republicans wanted to “Drill, baby, drill” by opening up drilling on federal lands and off both coasts. Democrats said: oil is a global commodity, there is no way increasing drilling in the US will affect the global price of oil. Oil companies proved the Democrats wrong. They started using new technology (horizontal drilling and fracking) to drill countless new wells on non-federal land to extract previously uneconomical to extract shale oil (tight oil). The rapidly growing production of shale oil from the U.S. single handedly caused the global price of crude oil to not only to fall, but collapse.

      Exactly, how will Trump/Tillerson opening up drilling on federal lands and opening up offshore drilling on both coasts, which will increase the supply of oil, going to simultaneously increase the price of oil? Adding to the supply (some call it a glut) of oil available on the market will keep oil prices low. Only wells that can more than breakeven with the current price of oil will be drilled.

      1. Mister G says:

        BINGO…however Democrats opposed fracking because of water contamination not because it would not affect oil price.

        1. speculawyer says:

          Also naive. “Democrats” are not a monolithic group that all agree. Certainly some felt that way but not the ones with power. In particular, the Obama administration (the Dems with the power at the time) studied fracking, added some regulations to it, and allowed it to continue. They did not try to stop it.

          1. Mister G says:

            Correct Obama had an all of the above approach for energy production.

      2. Josh Bryant says:

        Hence the massive layoffs, bankruptcies, and consolidation in the O&G services industry. Politics had very little to do with the oil prices, technology changed the landscape. The only policy that had a significant effect: low capital costs from the Fed post financial crisis.

        Going forward pump prices only have one way to go, up. Current prices were based on drilling with cheap capital and $100/barrel oil.

        The recent Congress law change to allow the export of crude (unrefined) oil, only more closely ties the US oil prices with the world market. O&G companies aren’t required to sell to US refiners, so no discount in the time of gluts equals higher US pump prices and probably less export of refined gasoline/diesel.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          Yes, so there’s one reason North American pump prices will go up. The classic one has been relatively minor production changes, which are entirely deliberate relative to inelastic demand. OPEC’s -2% drop, with Russia, isn’t minor.

          Goldman put out some energy research that made a good point about “substitutes” being the disrupters of the near future. Elon’s tweet was timed to Barra, Fields and Marchionne just finishing their Trump meeting. Obviously, he’s not afraid of Twitter, and given how on message about regulation the other three likely were, firing one off to stay on Trump’s mind was perhaps at least as relevant as what he said about Tillerson.

        2. speculawyer says:

          Again, the technology has not changed much . . . it was mostly the high prices that made fracking possible . . . and the lower prices are what killed fracking off. I do agree that the ZIP policies have helped the frackers by giving them a lot of cheap loans. But I suspect that will continue for a while.

          I think the price will remain around the current level to $10/barrel higher for a while though.

          I doubt the lifting of the export ban will affect things much since we are still a large net importer. The export ban mainly helps them with various oil grades . . . we have refineries set up to deal with a lot of heavy & sour crude. Canada needs the sweet light oil from the fracking to dilute their bitumen so the export ban removal helps us ship light oil to them. (Which actually then probably comes back to us mixed in with tar sands oil.)

      3. speculawyer says:

        As is common for you, you have it COMPLETELY BACKWARDS. You cannot drill your way to oil dependence and history proved it.

        The drill, baby, drill ticket lost. What changed is that oil prices went up to $147/barrel. They dropped back a bit but at prices over $100, that made tar sands oil and fracked oil profitable. So the tar sands crowd and frackers went crazy. And they did increase domestic production . . . But even at the height of frack boom, we still imported some 40% of the oil run through our refineries. So, no, the drill, baby, drill crowd FAILED to make us energy dependent by drilling.

        The increased production crashed the market and many frackers have gone broke. Others are just barely holding on with, no more drilling, oil revenues barely paying their loans, and others needed more loans to stay afloat.

        “They started using new technology (horizontal drilling and fracking)”

        Your ignorance is STUNNING. Both horizontal drilling and fracking have been known about FOR DECADES. The big change was that the oil price went up so high that those techniques became profitable. Then the oil price crashed and they were no longer profitable.

        Your naive views shows why things may not go as you think.

        1. sven says:

          You’re the one who brought up drilling our to energy independence, not me. And FYI, history didn’t prove that it cannot be done (not that I want to find you), since drilling was never opened up off the West and East Coasts or on federal lands, including the off-limits Alaskan National Wildlife Refugee.

          It wasn’t until 1998 that technical advances in horizontal drilling and fracturing wells first made it economical to extract tight oil and gas from shale formations. That’s when George Mitchell and Nick Steinsberger first developed the “Slackwater Fracturing Technique,” using more water and higher pump pressure than previous fracturing techniques. It took them many years to perfect this technique and make it very economical.

          1. ffbj says:

            It’s true that there have been recent major advances in horizontal drilling and fracking.

      4. EV=conservation says:

        OPEC not cutting production level has much to do with it.

    2. Nix says:

      Mexico is our 4th largest supplier of foreign oil, and Trump just threatened a 20% import tariff on all imports from Mexico.

      If it is passed into law, that would force up prices in the US.

      Our President is talking about withdrawing from NAFTA, while everybody seems to forget that Canada is also a party to NAFTA, not just Mexico. Canada is our number 1 oil supplier. Chaos after an abrupt un-thoughtout US NAFTA withdraw would likely interrupt that oil supply.

      Our President just banned anybody from 7 middle east nations from entering the US. That includes 2 members of OPEC, and the head of OPEC warned the US against exactly such a ban. This may lead to an anti-US backlash among our 2nd, 3rd, and 5th largest suppliers.

      Our President is acting in ways that puts our trade relationships with all of our top 5 foreign oil providers at risk. All of which would push up the price of oil. You couldn’t invent a worse case scenario towards rising oil prices if you tried.

      All that is left for a perfect storm for rising oil prices would be man-made earthquakes damaging the pipelines, oil storage, and refining in Oklahoma.

      http://www.livescience.com/images/i/000/082/307/original/earthquake-risk-map.jpg?interpolation=lanczos-none&downsize=*:1400

      https://earthquake.usgs.gov/research/induced/hazards.php

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Rising oil price would/should push for better EV sales, right?

        Of course, it would also lead to potentially more domestic drilling and stagflation.

      2. Mister G says:

        I will be laughing at all the gasoline addicts when they are paying $5 per gallon as I ride by in my 16 Leaf…lol
        And all the unemployed factory workers in the rust belt are gonna regret voting for the Trumpster.

  14. Some Guy says:

    A former CEO of a big company to run politics can make a lot of sense as the guy obviously knows how to do business so that he himself (but also the employees of the company) can profit from it.
    Also, everyone assuming that Tillerson is only pro-oil should note that his “retirement fund” of 180 million dollar he received when parting from the oil business is mandated NOT to invest in oil to avoid compliance issues. If he is smart, he will have it invested in e.g. Tesla and support them whereever he can. A compliant solution that everyone benefits from.

    In Germany, it’s never the way that an industrial manager becomes a politician, but, as bribing has become illegal, many politicians get highly paid “advisor” jobs in industry after their term, depending on the laws they have passed in favor of their new employers before. They get an office and get paid, usually nobody really cares what they say or do. If they do get a saying, companies have ended belly-up in the past. Countries just pile up more debt and print more money, so politicians don’t need to be as competent as captains of industry have to be…

  15. ericonline says:

    How can the author conclude Tillerson hates electric vehicles? The embedded quote doesn’t support that statement. I guess since he is a former oil exec he hates anything that is good for the Earth.

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      Yeah, and I’m trying to understand the whole Secretary of State connection to EV’s. Outside of Elon’s tweets, I don’t get it.

    2. Josh Bryant says:

      I was curious about what the entire quote was. Here is the Bloomberg article, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-21/exxon-ceo-tillerson-says-science-of-electric-cars-is-daunting-

      Not much more, but it was part of a conference speech so there is probably missing context (like usual). I would want to hear more before making a conclusion.

    3. Someone out there says:

      Yeah, one should remember that as the CEO of an oil company it is his DUTY to support his product and limit any negative publicity about it. While he should not lie he can use weasel language to try to tone down the potential negative impacts of fossil fuel use and the competition.

      Once he’s no longer the CEO he has more freedom to express a more open stance on climate change.

    4. Priusmaniac says:

      The Cobasys NiMH battery patents were blocked by Exxon. No EV application was authorized.

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      Trump! Trump! Trump!

  16. Mister G says:

    GO ELON GO, flattery might work with Trump administration. Don’t forget that you are creating American jobs and Trump likes that.

  17. AlphaEdge says:

    Elon also indicated:

    “Rex is an exceptionally competent executive, understands geopolitics and knows how to win for his team. His team is now the USA.”

    and

    “I share The Economist’s opinion that he should be given the benefit of the doubt unless his actions prove otherwise”

    Seems reasonable to me. Give him a chance.

    1. speculawyer says:

      Rex Tillerson has worked for no one but Exxon for his ENTIRE CAREER. I think anyone who expects him to magically change his priorities away from Exxon and to the USA is being extremely naive.

      I’d like to see the details of how they are going to handle all of his Exxon compensation . . . are they going liquidate all his Exxon stock holdings, both current holdings and promised shares? Or they will be put into some trust wherein he still knows he owns massive amounts of Exxon stock and thus will benefit if Exxon does well.

  18. Someone out there says:

    A businessman knows how a businessman thinks. Trump is a businessman more than a politician.

  19. Bill Howland says:

    As I mentioned on the California infrastructure article, I don’t thing Mr. Tilerson is a good choice for SOS.

    Besides disagreeing with some of his personal views, his desire to pick a fight with CHINA I see ending badly.

    No where in the Constitution is there a justification for the US looking out for its “interests”, any more than Chinese war ships in the Gulf of Mexico would be considered ‘looking out for Chinese Interests”.

    And, of course I have disagreements with him on technical issues.

    But seeing as Trump is a more plain speaking man than anyone we have had in there since JFK, I assume that any of them needing an education will get it quicker than they think.

  20. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Hmmmm.

    Well, I had written a post suggesting that Tillerson wouldn’t necessarily be any worse than anyone else appointed by any GOP candidate likely to win the presidency in the current political climate. But in Googling a bit, I see that Marco Rubio has expressed strong reservations about Tillerson, particularly about his pro-Russian stance. Not that this will stop him from voting to confirm Tillerson, but perhaps if someone more moderate, like Rubio, had been elected President, then he likely would have selected someone more suited to be Sec’ty of State.

    I understand that it is wise of Musk to “play nice” with the Trumpsters as far as possible, especially because The Donald has an extreme, petty, and childish reaction to both flattery and criticism.

    But there is a line between trying to make a good impression on The Donald, and boot-licking. In publicly supporting Tillerson, I think Elon has crossed the line. IMHO it would have been better for him to have remained silent on the subject.

    All just my opinion, of course.

    1. CDAVIS says:

      @Pu-Pu said: …[Elon Musk] boot-licking. In publicly supporting Tillerson, I think Elon has crossed the line.
      ——-

      So according to Pu-Pu Musk is “boot-licking” by expressing support for a guy in power/influence that shares similar views on Carbon Tax…a topic that Musk is very passionate about. Apparently supporting someone that is not 100% congruent on all viewpoints opens one up to being a boot-licker.

      Rex Tillerson quote:
      “I think it’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table in the conversation on how to address threats of climate change. They do require a global response. No one country is going to solve this alone…It [carbon tax] replaces the hodgepodge of approaches we have today, which are scattered. Some of which are through mandates, some of which are well-intended, but ineffective incentives…If a carbon tax is put in place, it has to be revenue-neutral. All the revenues have to go back out to the economy through reduced employee payroll taxes…This is simply a mechanism to incentivize choices that people are making. It’s not a revenue-raiser…”

  21. Rik says:

    While ExxonMobil is skeptical about PEVs, Shell believes that in the future, a majority of passenger vehicles will be BEVs.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      A Big Oil company believing the EV revolution is inevitable isn’t going to stop them from using lobbying, bribery, and political influence to slow and block that change as much as they can; to block and slow the development of practical PEVs (Plug-in EVs).

      Why do you think Big Oil is promoting the “hydrogen economy”? Hint: It’s not because they really think fool cell cars are a more practical alternative to gasmobiles than PEVs! No, it’s to divert the attention and resources of the “alternative energy” movement away from development of PEVs.

  22. Just_Chris says:

    I have been thinking, mainly in hindsight, that Elon has been planning for a Trump administration for some time. He didn’t have to do anything much if Hilary got in as it would largely be business as usual but there is going to be significant change with Trump and I think Elon (and his team of advisers) has been planning for it even before election day. All his tweets about the subsidies that the oil industry gets, his offer to get rid of the tax incentive if the oil industry pays its way, the high profile he has given the Panasonic investment in the G factory, American jobs, etc. all of it ties in very nicely with Trumps goals.

    The other thing that I think is really smart is the comments on a Carbon tax, climate change and Tilerson. The whole push from the new administration, IMO, is that they are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, the brand they are selling is based on successful men being strong and powerful doing whats needed to make America great again – taking the hard-line, making quick and tough decisions. Highlighting Tilersons previous statements on climate change and carbon taxation makes it very hard for Tilerson to turn around and do nothing on those fronts. If everyone had forgotten his previous statements he could tear up the Paris agreement and walk away without saying a thing but my feeling is that if the pressure is kept up and people are constantly reminded of his previous statements then it is not so simple. In short, doing nothing would make him spineless and weak. I suspect what Elon is pushing for is for him to tear up the Paris agreement on the basis that it is weak, bureaucratic and bad for America but rather than just walking away for him to replace it with something stronger, more practical that is good for America and bad for the “evil” foreign governments who are out to get the USA. I am not sure what form that new policy could take but I could imagine a tax on Chinese goods due to the nations higher CO2 emissions per kWh compared to the USA or perhaps a change in the way carbon emissions (more likely called pollution in the current administration) are counted so that imported emissions are included in the USA totals leading to any enforced reductions resulting in jobs coming back to the USA. Who knows, it is going to the interesting to see it how it pans out.

    Whatever happens and whatever policy is adopted the main winner I see in all of this is the American oil and natural gas industry. I don’t know how I just think it will.

    ps I am not saying that Elon is against the Paris agreement, in fact I think he is very pro anything that benefits solar, battery or EV’s for very obvious reasons. I just think he is making sure that the new administration doesn’t put in place policies that total crush his businesses. IMO, he is taking the correct approach, Trump is in for a minimum of 4 years starting a war with him or his administration day one isn’t a great option for anyone.

  23. Scott Franco says:

    Ha…HA!!! Suck it libs….

    1. speculawyer says:

      Very mature. Well, just like with Bush, I suspect it will be a lot of conservatives that will be the ones to pay the price for their own bad choices. Hopefully not so many will pay with their lives this time.

      1. William says:

        More of us Chattle, lining up, once again for the meat grinder. You think we would get a choice this time, of either slice or dice, if not then, the usual mash and/or bash! It’s like whack a mole, on overdrive, once again!

  24. Trollnonymous says:

    damn, this sh1t$ more entertaining than pay-per-view……lol

    I’ll make some popcorn….

    1. Scott Franco says:

      Ain’t it the truth. My wife thinks I have lost my mind because I start laughing every time I see the evening news. I swear at times Trump still thinks he is running a popular TV show.

      This s*** is funnnnnyyyyyyyyyyy…..

  25. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I actually don’t have too much problem with it. Tillerson is a CEO of a oil company. His job is to serve his company well. And he has done that. So, if he is willing to serve his position as Sec of State, then he is potentially capable of doing a good job as well.

    Now, to his credit, the so called Exxon cover up of research was released under his reign at Exxon and he admits that global climate change is real (unlike his current new boss).

    So, from a “capabilities” point of view, I agree with Elon and his assessment and is willing to give Tillerson a chance.

    Now, Scott Pruitt is a completely different case. If Elon somehow endorse Pruitt for EPA chief, then you can bet that I will be canceling my Model 3 reservations and I won’t buy a thing from Tesla ever again!

    1. ffbj says:

      True it’s a different kettle of fish. Putting Pruitt in is a slap in face to anyone who has even an inkling of concern for the environment.
      It’s like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of Madam Pomprey’s home for unwed mothers. It’s going to turn that home into a charnel house.

  26. Just_Chris says:

    I wasn’t sure what the Sec of state’s role was so I looked it up:

    https://www.state.gov/secretary/115194.htm

    It includes:

    “Promotes beneficial economic intercourse between the United States and other countries”

    I never fully understood what the US was doing in the middle east and now it is all clear.

  27. JyBicycleOrTesla says:

    Trump Jun, 2013
    “Obama’s carbon tax plan will finance more windmills in America. More real estate depreciated, wildlife killed, incl. bald eagles”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-slams-report-that-he-says-has-him-backing-carbon-tax/article/2591319

    Carbon tax my ass. Elon is reaching with his tweet.

  28. Kdawg says:

    Maybe he’s kissing butt, hoping the Federal gov will vote his way on selling direct in every state.

  29. bogdan says:

    Musk is a smart guy. He’s a great business man. It doesn’t matter if he likes Trump or not, it’s not for him to decide who runs the US.
    He just can’t jeopardize his businesses. That’s why he’s adapting to the current situation. This guy already proved that he’s no dinosaur.

  30. CDAVIS says:

    Rex Tillerson quote:
    “I think it’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table in the conversation on how to address threats of climate change. They do require a global response. No one country is going to solve this alone…It [carbon tax] replaces the hodgepodge of approaches we have today, which are scattered. Some of which are through mandates, some of which are well-intended, but ineffective incentives…If a carbon tax is put in place, it has to be revenue-neutral. All the revenues have to go back out to the economy through reduced employee payroll taxes…This is simply a mechanism to incentivize choices that people are making. It’s not a revenue-raiser…”

  31. Priusmaniac says:

    With a T Rex in place what could possibly go wrong for EV cars?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onp_y-xSQXE

  32. Some Guy says:

    Sounds like a$$ kissing to me.

  33. evnow says:

    Elon Musk may think he is playing Trump – hoping he will get some browny points to use later.

    With narcissistic autocrats there is only one requirement – bow to me all the time. One contradictory statement nullifies all browny points.

    It is possible Musk will continue to bow and not resist or criticize. In that case his companies could do well – but he would have sold his soul. When the tide changes, he would be like the guy/gal who voted for the Iraq war.

  34. Mat says:

    What Musk is trying to do is appeasement. It has not worked in the past with narcissists in power, it will not work with Mr. Trump. If he is allowed to stay in power for long enough, all environmental requirements will have been removed making gas cars and gas real cheap and electric cars in the US unsustainable. The market abroad for Tesla will be destroyed once they are slapped with a 20% import tax in other as a favor returned. In four years, Tesla and Solar City will be bankrupt.

  35. Assaf says:

    “based on latest executive orders”

    Yeah, based on that, are you still there?

    I’ll grant you that you wrote your comment before Friday’s ultra-racist and internationally explosive anti-Muslim one (right now stayed by a Federal court, thank God), and before the idea of dumping a surprise tax on everything that comes from Mexico.

    Actually, I don’t particularly care what *you* think. But Elon Musk has got to be a complete political idiot, to put out his neck and associate himself with anything this paleo-lunatic does.

  36. Me Martin Winlow says:

    Lets hope Mr Musk’s enthusiasm is not mis-placed and that more of president Trump (or, as I prefer to call him, “M. Le Pétomane’)’s appointments are equally hopeful.

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