Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems very optimistic about the new Biden administration’s environmental priorities, noting in a lengthy phone interview with Fortune last week that he is “fired up” about the country’s renewed focus on climate issues. During his interview, Musk talked about why he is excited about the Biden administration, his split with the Trump administration, and his hopes for the near future.
Musk noted that he is extremely happy about the change in the White House, particularly President Joe Biden’s overt stance on combating climate change. This is a notable break from the stance of the Trump administration, which took a number of steps and passed initiatives that pushed the pro-climate agenda to the side. “I’m super fired up that the new administration is focused on climate,” Musk said, noting that he is closely watching the new president’s moves.
“I think this is great. I feel very optimistic about the future of sustainable energy with the new administration. Not that we should get complacent or anything, but the wind is at our back for solving the climate crisis with the new administration,” Musk said.
Apart from sharing his thoughts on the Biden administration, Musk also discussed his brief stint as part of former US President Donald Trump’s economic advisory board and on his manufacturing jobs initiative council. Musk ultimately left those boards after Trump announced that he was pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. This move, according to Musk, was the final straw for him, especially considering that he is at the head of the world’s leading EV company.
“I said… it is very important that we address the climate crisis and everything. I took him pretty much at his word, that he would really mean it,” Musk said.
The Tesla CEO stated that he is currently waiting to get involved again as the new US president rolls out and implements detailed environmental policies, including a focus on electric vehicles. This became a key focus recently as Biden announced his intentions to utilize all-electric cars as vehicles for the US government. In his announcement, Biden noted that the initiative would likely create about 1 million autoworker jobs in clean energy.
Musk stated that he has “not wanted to” reach out to the new US president yet. However, the CEO did note that his aides are already in informal contact with the White House because Tesla knows a lot of pro-environment people that the Biden administration is bringing into its fold. “My team, being very pro-environment, they know a lot of people that Biden is bringing in,” Musk said, adding that “we will do our best to be helpful to the new administration with respect to climate.”