Elon Musk must thrive on his uniqueness and eccentricity. He’s been the butt of jokes from South Park to The Simpsons, and he even poked fun at himself when hosting Saturday Night Live. He is frequently on Twitter, and he’s admitted publicly that some of his comments on and off the internet “get him in trouble.” He has locked horns with members of Congress (Senator Elizabeth Warren has used Musk as a prime example for why taxes should be increased on the wealthy). Musk has a wealth of fans, but just as many individuals think Musk is “out there.”
None of these negative opinions bother Musk.
Recently, Musk has been hailed as a hero not only for what he’s said lately, but also for his actions, as well he should be.
Love him or hate him, Musk is using his wealth and his access to technology to assist the people of the Ukraine. When the deputy prime minister of the Ukraine pleaded for global assistance in keeping the internet up and running in their country, Musk jumped at the opportunity to help. He promised Starlink terminals so that Ukrainians could still communicate via the internet, especially when many other modes of communication is likely to be wiped out. When Musk set up Starlink to provide internet access to Ukraine, he also promised to send terminals. Musk kept his word; when the terminals arrived, the Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted a photo of the equipment.
Musk later tweeted, “More (terminals) to come.”
Early Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted that he had spoken with Musk personally, and Musk relayed that there is another delivery of Starlink terminals set to arrive in the coming week. Zelenskyy said that Musk is one who has assisted the country in both “words and deeds.”
Musk has also said that he will not block Russian news sources from Starlink, however. Adding that the Ukrainian government had not requested this, Musk tweeted: “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”
Musk also stirred up controversy when he tweeted on Friday: “Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil and gas output (in the United States) immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”
Musk went on later to say that while the upping of production of American oil and gas would economically damage his electric vehicle company, Tesla, Musk noted that “sustainable energy solutions . . .cannot react instantaneously” in the wake of the oil and gas crisis that was plaguing America prior to Russia’s invasion into the Ukraine, which has only served to exacerbate the issue.
On Sunday, the national average reached $4 per gallon of gas, a high that the United States hasn’t seen since 2012.
Although many see Musk as an eccentric billionaire out of touch with reality, Musk is one of the few to put forth common sense solutions and to actually use his wealth for something tangible. Musk understands that the economy is already teetering on the brink of a collapse from surging inflation as well as dismal job numbers as evidenced by Labor Department reports from the end of January. Musk isn’t hiding in a billionaire’s bunker somewhere; he’s actively keeping up with world events, and he’s doing something, just as Zelenskyy gave him credit.
Elon has even stirred up controversy, calling on Europe to restart their nuclear plants to become more self-sufficient with power generation.
When members of the Biden Administration are questioned as to why we are continuing to import Russian oil (or any oil, for that matter), reporters are told that Russian imports only make up ten percent of imported oil (per White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki). Yet the White House won’t discuss the caps put on oil production by the administration (some in the form of regulations that make drilling here financially unfeasible for American companies) and how those caps are driving up the cost of fuel.
Americans are asking lawmakers not to just stop importing Russian oil, but to go one step further and utilize the resources we have here in America, where oil and gas are produced in a much more eco-friendly manner than in Russia or Iran. Sure, we can pursue sustainable energy, but, even one of the experts in the field says America isn’t ready yet – and we aren’t.
Pursuing sustainable energy is noble, and it should be pursued, but not at the risk of collapsing the American economy. With inflation (including fuel) sitting at 7.5 percent (and rising), it’s time to get back to America being energy independent once more – ban imported oil, utilize our resources, help our European allies. The Biden Administration could do this easily, help America, and help our allies.