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President Joe Biden’s administration is said to have repeatedly asked Elon Musk’s Tesla for advice on climate initiatives, with the White House first contacting the company on Biden’s first day in office.
The Biden administration is working with Tesla on a policy to allow electric vehicles to benefit from certain climate subsidies, Reuters reported Thursday. White House climate officials held numerous meetings with Tesla executives in the opening months of the administration.
The meetings pertained to the Renewable Fuel Standard, a federal policy mandating that a certain minimum percentage of fuel sold in the U.S. must be renewable. The administration was looking to update the policy to somehow benefit purely electric vehicles as well, according to Reuters.
Despite the promising start, the Biden administration’s relationship with Tesla and Musk has since soured. The billionaire business leader has been heavily critical of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party at large in recent months.
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Musk called for cutting 10% of jobs at Tesla in early June, citing a “super bad feeling” about the economy. However, Biden has sought to downplay fears of a recession amid record-setting gas prices and inflation sitting at a 40-year high.
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Musk stated on Tuesday that he believes a recession is “inevitable” and that one was likely to hit the U.S. soon.
Asked about Musk’s comments, Biden said it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
“Well, let me tell you, while Elon Musk is talking about that, Ford is increasing their investment overwhelmingly. I think Ford is increasing investment in building new electric vehicles, 6,000 new employees, union employees, I might add, in the Midwest,” Biden said. He added, “The former Chrysler Corporation, Stellantis, they are also making similar investments in electric vehicles. Intel is adding 20,000 new jobs, making computer chips.”
Musk dismissed Biden and his fellow Democrats as being “controlled by unions” last week. Musk will vote Republican for the first time in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.