Elon Musk pushed for a carbon tax at meeting with Trump

Elon Musk is reportedly using his access to President Donald Trump to push for a carbon tax.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said the Trump administration should consider a carbon tax at a White House meeting he attended Monday morning, a senior official at the White House told Bloomberg. The official said the proposal got little to no support from the other executives in attendance.

Tesla declined to comment for this article.

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Tesla Aims to Cut Crashes (And Misses)

Musk was expanding on a report published last week by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration that not only exonerated AutoPilot of having a role in a fatal crash in Florida last summer but added that airbag deployments indicated that the crash rate had fallen nearly 40 percent, to 0.8 per million miles driven, down from 1.3 per million miles before the original version of AutoPilot was installed.

The fatal crash had cast a pall over Tesla’s system, prompting some critics to say that the company had overpromised simply by choosing the name AutoPilot. Tesla acknowledges that AutoPilot is not—yet—a truly autonomous system but rather a package of driver-assistance features, such as emergency collision avoidance, lane keeping, and active cruise control.

On Saturday Musk warned customers who were about to have access to the newly downloaded software package that there might be a need to adjust the hardware—specifically the angle of the cameras.

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Beware of Elon Musk, Who ‘Didn’t Build That’

The truth is that Musk went rent-seeking with the government by way of his network, got a loan to demonstrate that Tesla was an operational company with real possibilities, and used that fact to go to Wall Street to raise capital. It is a lot easier to raise capital when you have the federal government demonstrating it believes in you.

But hey, it’s not like Musk and Obama are buddies. Then again, they did have dinner in February 2015, Musk donating almost $36,000 to the 2012 Obama Victory Fund, and another 30 grand to the Democratic National Committee.

This back-scratching feels like it extends to SpaceX.  On Sept. 1, its Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad during a test run. It took less than four months for the FAA to approve SpaceX’s explanation for the explosion and to schedule a new flight.

Four months?

Remember how NASA flipped out after any mishap involving the space shuttle, and would ban flights for years until they figured out what was wrong? As of now, SpaceX is privately funded. Yet the obvious capital injection by the government seems inevitable. After all, the government can outsource any of its orbital needs to SpaceX, which would naturally mean offering it a massive loan in order to hasten that process. With this week’s successful launch, get ready for more government money for Musk.

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SpaceX lost a quarter of a billion dollars after one of its rockets blew up

“The company lost $260 million in 2015 when one of its Falcon 9 rockets, carrying two tons of cargo to the international space station, exploded shortly after liftoff,” writers Rolfe Winkler and Andy Pasztor reported for The Journal.

The financial hit was so hard because of launch delays. SpaceX did an internal investigationand made changes to its rocket fleet and operations. It wouldn’t launch again until December 2015 — when it landed its first Falcon 9 booster on a launch pad — missing out on six of 12 planned launches.

A Falcon 9 launch costs third-parties about $62 million, which means SpaceX missed on its projected launch revenue by roughly $370 million.

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What Did Elon Musk Promise?

Musk is a crony-capitalist of the worst ilk. He plays both side of the aisle and wraps it all up in fanciful oratory about colonizing Mars. American’s literally eat it up. Musk is so popular you would think he was the real Tony Stark. His latest dazzling promise was to send colonists to Mars by 2024 (for $200K a one-way ticket). No guarantees you will make it alive, and no, Musk won’t be joining you on the trip. Have fun being the first Martians.

The lofty interstellar goal of living on Mars is inspired by Star Wars and Star Trek dreams and comes with an out of this world price tag…about $10 billion. Rockets are expensive and Musk has plans to blow up a few more of them as he pretends to be colonizes the red planet. The last rocket that blew, the Falcon 9, cost several hundred million in lost cargo alone. Musk actually blames that on real Martian sabotage, but that’s another story.

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ELON MUSK HAS DELIVERY ISSUES

But, while his grand gestures inspire awe and curiosity, they often fall short in the execution. Since 2011, Tesla has failed to meet Musk’s product-launch, production, and financial-performance promises more than twenty times, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal. Even a private showing, in early January, of Tesla’s new Gigafactory, in Storey County, Nevada—which Musk claims is on schedule to mass-produce lithium-ion batteries at rock-bottom costs by 2018—didn’t instill confidence in Musk’s ability to achieve his stated goals. As the Pacific Crest Securities research analyst Brad Erickson said in a note, the tour left “much to the imagination.”

And in September an explosion destroyed an unmanned SpaceX rocket on the launch pad during a fuelling exercise—an incident that called into question the viability of Musk’s radical notion to refuel craft en route, with astronauts on board. A little more than a year earlier, a NASA-funded SpaceX rocket carrying cargo destined for the International Space Station exploded two minutes after lift-off, destroying the payload. A NASA report on that incident raised questions about quality standards at Musk’s company.

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SpaceX is super-cooling its rocket fuel— why that could be a problem

For nearly a year, SpaceX has been trying out something new: super-cooling the liquid oxygen (LOX) which is a key ingredient in rocket fuel. It’s called deep-cryo LOX, and the idea has been around since NASA began designing rockets over 60 years ago. But no one has had the guts to actually fly rockets regularly with deep-cryo LOX.

We spoke with associate professor of aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech, Mitchell Walker, to understand why SpaceX chills its LOX cooler than anyone else and whether or not this is a good idea.

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When Energy Efficiency Rules Hurt the Public and the Environment

Over the years, its life cycle cost analysis has become absurdly complex and thus ripe for manipulation. We have seen the use of unjustifiable assumptions to obtain particular results to hide the true consumer costs of the proposed regulation.

Most importantly, the Department of Energy is ignoring the fact that natural gas is the most energy efficient and environmentally sound manner for the vast majority of Americans to heat their homes.

Technological advances are making natural gas residential furnaces more efficient, and the public is snapping them up when they save money. This is proof that the market is working.

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The Elon Musk Myth Looks To Contaminate Texas

One of Musk’s fake companies getting billions in real government money is Tesla Motors.  Tesla produces massively-subsidized electric cars which – even with the federal coin – cost way too much and aren’t purchased by anyone outside of uber-wealthy preening elites:

“(Tesla’s) first model, the Roadster, costing over $100,000 per vehicle, sold only 2,400 actual cars in 31 countries from 2006 until production ended in 2012, despite extensive federal subsidies for electric car purchases.  Its new model, a full-size luxury sedan named the Model S, is doing better, costing about half as much as the Roadster. Tesla sold about 25,000 of these worldwide in 2013….The products are heavily subsidized, by both federal and state tax credits of up to $20,000+ to consumers, and zero emissions credits totaling tens of millions of dollars to the company.”

So much government coin – for so little in sales.  And now the Musk contagion is looking to infest Texas.  Musk wants to insert his Tesla Faux-Motors into the Lone Star State’s retail dealership market.  And is demanding even more cronyism to do it.

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