Robert E. Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, went on the Tesla attack on CNBC's Squawk Box. He called Elon Musk and company, a fraud. He said:
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
"Tesla is a fraud, he (Tesla CEO Musk we assume) has gotten $2 billion from the taxpayer," and "has not made a penny yet in cash flow."
"You could close every coal-fired plant in the United States today and you would not affect the temperature of the Earth at all."
Not surprisingly, Elon Musk retorted. Musk shared the blasphemous video on Twitter. He explained that Tesla receives much less government susbsidy than the coal industry.
Musk wrote in reply: "Real fraud going on is denial of climate science. How about we both go to zero (subsidies)?"
Real fraud going on is denial of climate science. As for "subsidies", Tesla gets pennies on dollar vs coal. How about we both go to zero?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 10, 2016
Murray's bottom line argument was that the government should be supporting coal in much the same way it supports wind and solar sources. In 2013, the government supported electricity production from coal with about a billion dollars. This amounts to six percent of the government's overall support toward electricity production. However, of the $15 billion in total support, 72 percent went to wind and solar. Murray, who believes that it will take monumental strides to make coal clean burning, argued:
"Just as the government is supporting through the people's taxes windmills and solar panels, they need to support the clean coal technology. … We need a level playing field."
Musk's "both go to zero" comment would indeed level the playing field, but for some reason, we don't think the coal industry will accept Musk's challenge.