Hump Day Hilarity: Elon Musk caves to fossil fuel funding

Elon Musk’s Vast Oil Conspiracy Ends With Saudi Billions

The Tesla CEO spent years warning of sabotage by oil interests. But nobody is more crude than his newest mega investor.

Elon Musk has always hated the fossil-fuel industry. His stated mission for Tesla Inc. is to hasten its demise, and more than once he’s blamed the “unrelenting and enormous” power of oil interests for sabotaging his efforts. But now, in his bid to take Tesla private, Musk is courting billions of oil dollars.

After a week of playing coy about who he’s been trying to enlist to help buy out Tesla’s publicly traded shares, Musk revealed at least one partner: Saudi Arabia. It’s hard to think of a more perfect symbol of Big Oil and its money than a sovereign wealth fund created by world’s biggest oil producer. Musk said in a blog post on Monday that he’s been in talks with Saudi Arabia “going back almost two years.”

More at Bloomberg

Musk has previously suggested that media reports on Tesla were biased by “big oil advertising dollars”, and now what will he say when they report he’s in fact in bed with big oil?. Green heads must be exploding worldwide as the realization sinks in that Tesla just got torpedoed by greed. What self-respecting environmentalist could buy one now?

I smell a “tipping point” for Tesla Inc. and not a warm one.

Meanwhile, Josh is on the case:

Just a short note to readers- Josh has done hundreds of climate related cartoons over the years, and never charged me a dime for them. He’s advanced our viewpoints via humor, and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude. I suggest you buy him lunch or a beer, by going here to his tip jar.

PayPal or credit card accepted.

(BTW, funds given now will help Josh go to the Porto Climate Conference, where he’ll livetoon the proceedings)

Thanks, Anthony

And a note from Josh:
Thank you so much to all who have recently and so generously donated funds! You are amazing and the support and encouragement are hugely appreciated.
As Anthony says I have been invited to do cartoon notes at a two day Climate conference in Porto, Portugal and, of course, I will use all recent funding towards the expenses of the trip. Any more funds are always welcome – it keeps me reading and drawing!
Thanks again,
best wishes,

P.S. Is it me or does Elon Musk look a little bit like Al Gore?


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Mumbles McGuirck
August 15, 2018 8:10 am

Don’t worry. His most ardent supporters will find a justification to explain why it is perfectly OK for him to accept oil money. After all, his heart is in the right place, so anything he does is just jake.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
August 15, 2018 8:14 am

They will say that even big oil acknowledges how dangerous global warming is….how wonderful energizer toy cars are…and how they are backing it

…watch for it

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
August 15, 2018 8:55 am

Tesla cars are mostly powered by fossil fuels already:

comment image

Reply to  philincalifornia
August 15, 2018 9:07 am

Yes, the joke is that they are coal fired cars. Nuclear powered cars doesn’t spin much better. And then there are conversion and line losses…

Reply to  Gordon Lehman
August 15, 2018 6:55 pm

More like natural gas-fired now.

IMO makes more sense simply to run cars and trucks on natural gas, rather than generate electricity with the FF, then charge batteries with it.

I love my natural gas-powered pickup in South America. Why does the US, the “Saudi Arabia” of methane, not power transport with the resource of which we have so much that we burn it off at the well head or export it to Mexico?

Reply to  philincalifornia
August 15, 2018 9:18 am

Yesterday, I’m driving behind a brand new model 3 still with a dealer plate with the bold words … “zero emissions”

How does the FTC allow them to get-away with that? A more TRUTHFUL bit of advertising would read … “this car transfers it’s emissions to poor neighborhoods, where your nearest power plant is located”. Yeah, I need a copyrighter to shorten that down to two words.

Reply to  Kenji
August 15, 2018 9:41 am

Zero Emissions Here

Reply to  MarkW
August 15, 2018 11:39 am

Effing bollox!

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Kenji
August 15, 2018 12:58 pm

Some cars, including the one I drive, have these letters on the back: PZEV
Because I only put gasoline in it, I looked this up. It is all very government regulatory stuff and quite confusing. Links are older:

Link 1

Link 2

Reply to  Kenji
August 15, 2018 2:02 pm

How about:
Powered by NIMBY
(Not In My Back Yard)

Reply to  Kenji
August 15, 2018 3:06 pm

Emissions Exporter

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
August 15, 2018 9:40 am

“just jake”??

You guys are making me feel old again.

Nigel Sherratt
Reply to  MarkW
August 15, 2018 12:03 pm

Asa Martin – Jake Walk Papa – The Jake Walk Blues 1933

Reply to  Nigel Sherratt
August 16, 2018 6:09 pm

No picker put a foot wrong in that take.

John Francis
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
August 15, 2018 12:35 pm

Al Gore got away with it too

Steve O
August 15, 2018 8:22 am

The other way to look at it is that Tesla is helping the Saudis get out of fossil fuels and into something new and better.

Saudi Arabia wants to diversify out of oil, and this helps them do that. If an oil company builds windmills, are the windmills tainted by the fact that oil money funded them? Maybe that’s a bad example because windmills are stupid. (Or, maybe it’s not a bad example. I won’t judge.)

Reply to  Steve O
August 15, 2018 8:40 am

My thoughts exactly. Oil companies and cartels are really energy companies that are looking to stay ahead of the curve. Looks like a win-win to me.

Reply to  Steve O
August 15, 2018 9:05 am

The oil boom came to Saudi Arabia after WWII.
Since then, they have done exactly nothing in the way of building anything like a functional diversified economy, not wholly dependent on petrodollars.
Commercial aviation, highways, an electric grid, water works?
True, true, true, true, and true.
All done for their own comfort and convenience, nothing for an economic base independent of oil. When the oil runs out, the petrodollars stop and the modern Saudi Arabia returns to the sands of the desert.

Reply to  TonyL
August 15, 2018 9:22 am

Not entirely true … the Saudi’s have been exporting Wahhabism via “refugees” into all the Western nations of the world. They won’t need to have diversified THEIR economy … they’ll just appropriate ours

Reply to  Kenji
August 15, 2018 9:33 am

If that is their plan A, they have a surprise coming.
By the time their hijrah colonists get done with the economies of Western Europe, there will not be anything left to appropriate. It does not really matter, everything Western is haram to them anyway.

Reply to  Kenji
August 15, 2018 12:12 pm


Another London citizen almost murdered by another lunatic islamist with a vehicle in London this week. Salih Khater has been identified as the perpetrator according to the BBC:

comment image

And another recently convicted traitor with documentary evidence of his desire to murder up to 100 people by driving a vehicle into them outside the Disney store on Oxford Street was publicised. He was a refugee, rescued by the UK, and then the snivelling little b’stard decides we’re in the wrong!

When are we going to start burying these social, moral, legal and religious perverts in pigskins and criminalise Jeremy Corbyn for celebrating at the grave of monsters who perpetrated the Munich Olympics attack which, I understand, included castrating an Olympian before murdering him.

I am anything but racist or religiously bigoted, for very good reason, but we all need to acknowledge that racial and social profiling is absolutely necessary now. It offends me because everyone has the right to innocence until proven otherwise, but in the light of repeated treasonous attacks by the people the west shelters, it’s now a necessity, particularly with the EU’s ‘open door’ policy.

A policy I didn’t agree to when I voted for the UK to enter the common market, a commodity trading relationship, not a human trafficking relationship!

The UK desperately needs Brexit and we desperately need to build relationships with America, Australia, India and the Commonwealth.

Reply to  HotScot
August 15, 2018 8:50 pm

Give a stray dog a bed, and at the very least, he won’t sh** in it.

In that respect, these guys are worse than dogs.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  HotScot
August 16, 2018 1:37 am


A policy I didn’t agree to when I voted for the UK to enter the common market, a commodity trading relationship, not a human trafficking relationship!

The UK desperately needs Brexit and we desperately need to build relationships with America, Australia, India and the Commonwealth.”

No-one voted to take the UK in to the Common Market, Heath did that himself in 1973, effective Jan 1st 1974. There was a referendum held in 1975 and the vote was to remain. Of course, as I am sure you know, the EU is a very different beast now.

I am note sure the UK has any chance in hell rebuilding the relationship with Australia and New Zealand after what he did in 1973. It almost broke New Zealand because New Zealand had lost it’s primary market over night.

But one can hope!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 16, 2018 3:39 am

Patrick MJD

“No-one voted to take the UK in to the Common Market, Heath did that himself in 1973, effective Jan 1st 1974. There was a referendum held in 1975 and the vote was to remain.”

How long did you want my post to be?

I could have gone into the background of Salih Khater as well.

I think my abbreviated version of the UK’s entry into the common market is sufficient for most.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 16, 2018 5:23 am

some aussies with royal fixations might be pleased
a larger lot of us not so shortmemoried ones also remember some less than polite behaviour to our citizens in ww2 new guinea and elsewhere
and ships and grain appropriated etc.
demands for payback of full debts sent us broke and stuffed up many lives in the 30s too.
and our buttkissing fawning scumbag pollies handed us over on a platter, nothings changed

Reply to  HotScot
August 16, 2018 5:19 am

see Zerohedge for the effect of immigrant kids ?in sweden- trashing a wide swathe of their cities burning mainly cars, and general riot/mayhem. their leaders very “upset” but wont arrest a single one of them…but theyre planning to talk to their parents.
facepalm indeed
and the msm is…crickets! cos theyre not white, and its not pc to name shame or blame anyone NOT caucasian

Reply to  HotScot
August 16, 2018 6:14 am

There are no contradictions; when you think you’ve found one, check your premises. It is immoral to act against someone on the basis of skin color or race, since a person with those characteristics can still subscribe to any morality. However religion tells you its morality. Caution here however — some people are considered forced into it, or interpret it in non standard ways, so arbitrary attacks against members of a religion should still be prohibited.

But certainly a general policy such as an immigration policy can be tailored against a religion based on the stated morals of that religion..

Reply to  Steve O
August 15, 2018 9:11 am

Back in the 1970s when we were seriously worried about oil, a couple of oil companies went into the photovoltaic solar panel business.

It was a time when work on alternate energy was really intense. We weren’t producing enough of our own oil and we were seriously worried about what the Arabs would do.

Reply to  Steve O
August 15, 2018 11:16 am

Actually, they want to give the appearance of “getting out of fossil fuels”, all the while keeping control of as much as possible. Look at their attempts to gain shareholder control of US oil&gas companies, and their huge presence in African and Asian oil&gas exploitation operations. China is their only competitor in those areas, America having stupidly walked away at the behest of the ecotard lobby.

Giving money to Eloon Gantry does nothing to get them out of fossil fuel industry. It will give them the opportunity in engaging in one of their favorite pastimes! Hunting and killing stupid little white boys who try to rip them off.

D. Anderson
Reply to  Steve O
August 15, 2018 1:58 pm

The Saudis understand that electric cars run off the grid. The grid electricity generators use their product. So electric cars are good for oil.

Reply to  D. Anderson
August 15, 2018 6:39 pm

Very little electricity is generated using oil.

Reply to  MarkW
August 15, 2018 6:51 pm

Qatar and Iran however do have a lot of methane, which is a major fuel for generating electrical power. They share a major field under the Gulf.

Saudi is way down the list at Number Eight (without counting the EU as a whole):

Some other Gulf and Arabian Peninsula states are also in the mix.

Reply to  MarkW
August 15, 2018 8:55 pm

Though most non-metallic parts of a car, ICE or electric, are various hydrocarbon-derived polymers.

August 15, 2018 8:25 am

I smell flop sweat. Neither Tesla or Solar City are important, but SpaceX is. Hopefully when the inevitable crash occurs, that will survive.

Reply to  Tregonsee
August 15, 2018 9:25 am

Nahhhh … the “genius” Musk will screw that up too … when the first of his space tourists dies in space … or in the stratosphere … or on the launching pad.

He just cannot resist the PT Barnum within.

Peter Morris
Reply to  Tregonsee
August 15, 2018 9:48 am

Space X is not important. It’s built on the same lies as Tesla and the batteries. Right now everyone thinks that’s where the lady is.

Suckers. Truth isn’t made up of catchphrases and sound bites.

Reply to  Peter Morris
August 15, 2018 11:21 am

SpaceX has done actual, reproducible, work. It does have real world usefulness, just have to remove Eloon Gantry before he sucks all the capital out and skips town one step ahead of the Russian snatch team the House of Saud has most likely already on retainer for such work.

Reply to  Peter Morris
August 15, 2018 8:13 pm

SpaceX has changed the space launch business forever. Even if it fails, no-one’s going to be building expendable rockets again.

kent beuchert
Reply to  Tregonsee
August 15, 2018 11:14 am

SpaceX has mostly had failures – paid for by the taxpayers

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  kent beuchert
August 15, 2018 3:09 pm

SpaceX has a good track record of 94% success. You haven’t been keeping up.

His blooper reel is much more fun, but doesn’t represent the whole of SpaceX achievement:

Cost of space shuttle launches: 135 launches, $196 billion dollars or 1.4 billion per launch. Somebody claimed 490 million per launch, but given the total cost and number of launches, I suspect somebody was trying to minimize the cost of launches. The correct average of cost per flight should be total cost against number of launches. If you count the average cost of a shuttle flight against the two accidents, those losses account for $2.8 billion.

As for feeding on the public teat, he’s delivering for NASA stuff for the space station at less than $100 million per launch, which is a huge savings.

The SLS for example uses a one use vehicle pegged at around $1.5 – $2.5 billion each. The equivalent SpaceX vehicle, the Big Falcon Rocket or BFR for short, will operate at less cost than the Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy. So it makes more sense for the Feds to fund SpaceX than SLS.

Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
August 15, 2018 8:21 pm

There are usually two different numbers quoted for shuttle launches. One is the average cost over the program, including the development costs spread over all those flights, the other is the marginal cost of adding one extra flight to a year’s manifest, which was much lower (just crew training, shuttle maintenance, new fuel tank, etc).

Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
August 16, 2018 6:05 pm

And yet it hasn’t made a profit so far.

Reply to  JohnB
August 16, 2018 8:23 pm

SpaceX is a private company, so no-one outside the company really knows how much profit it makes on a flight (if any).

Reply to  Tregonsee
August 15, 2018 11:18 am

The hope is shareholders will drive him out of any control over SpaceX. Someone competent has been operating it, so their is help.

Reply to  Tregonsee
August 16, 2018 5:25 am

i gather the tesla board are about to throw him under a bus..prob a diesel one;-)
Zerohedge yesterday ran it.

John Garrett
August 15, 2018 8:27 am

The windbag “visionary” also ran afoul of Securities and Exchange Commission rules with his tweet about the purported “buyout” of Tesla.

It appears quite clear that he violated the SEC’s Regulation FD (requiring full disclosure of material corporate news).

He may be in serious legal trouble.

Reply to  John Garrett
August 15, 2018 9:27 am

He’s in no more legal trouble than SHE was. Democrap “visionaries” aren’t prosecuted by the Federal Govt. Nope.

Reply to  Kenji
August 15, 2018 9:44 am

The new standard for Left wing favorites is that so long as they didn’t mean to break the law and didn’t intend any harm, they get a free pass.

For right wingers the standard is a bit different. If it even looks like they thought about breaking the law, they are guilty and must be punished.

Reply to  John Garrett
August 15, 2018 9:42 am

I wouldn’t put much faith the the SEC doing anything. The SEC is a toothless tiger, and generally asleep when it comes to things like this. Oh, maybe in 6 months they’ll release a statement saying Musk’s tweet was inappropriate or something, but that’ll be the end of it.

Tom Halla
August 15, 2018 8:59 am

This does remind me of Algore selling Current TV to Al Jazeera, owned by Qatar, more oil money.

DJ Meredith
August 15, 2018 9:00 am

Tesla now begs a bumper sticker: Powered By Big Oil

DJ Meredith
Reply to  DJ Meredith
August 15, 2018 9:18 am

…. and on the other side of the bumper a sticker saying: Clean Air & Human Rights

Reply to  DJ Meredith
August 15, 2018 10:21 am

Don’t give up your day job and go work for them DJ:

“Climate Justice” – it needs to be something a parrot can squawk.

Greg F
August 15, 2018 9:01 am

Something about keeping your enemies closer.

August 15, 2018 9:19 am

Musk loves other people’s money.

August 15, 2018 9:20 am

Musk is an opportunist adept at keeping all the balls in the air at once. He will align his beliefs with whatever it takes to succeed. A Capitalist in Progressive clothing.

Reply to  markl
August 15, 2018 9:00 pm

Elon Musk is only a capitalist in the same way that Michael Mann is a scientist.

August 15, 2018 9:32 am

The best caricature of E. Musk evah!

AGW is not Science
August 15, 2018 9:49 am

Another fine example of what hypocrites every “green” cheerleader really is.

Peter Morris
August 15, 2018 9:54 am

Actually this is kind of brilliant. Tesla’s fundamentals have been absolutely upside down forever. With the carbon charade ending, he had to find other cash to dump into his money pit.

The Saudis won’t be content with losing money forever. But this at least staves off collapse for another few years. And when Tesla does go under, Musk has a built-in boogie man on which to hang the blame and keep his image squeaky clean.

Too bad the feds abd NASA are still in their honeymoon phase with SpaceX. I wonder how many astronauts will have to die before they go back to the actual experts.

Reply to  Peter Morris
August 15, 2018 8:14 pm

You mean ‘the actual experts’ who believe that killing the crew and losing a $2,000,000,000 vehicle one time in every sixty flights is safe?

And are building a new rocket that will be so expensive that it will literally be impossible to even characterize how dangerous it may be, because they can’t afford to fly it enough times to do so?

Reply to  MarkG
August 16, 2018 6:33 pm

An industry that has people sitting on 2,000 tonnes of high explosive will never be “safe”. Deal with it or let others go into space.

Bryan A
August 15, 2018 10:06 am

I thought he did resemble the Goracle but then I am a little AlGoraphobic

August 15, 2018 10:13 am

Desperate times indeed.

August 15, 2018 10:16 am

I guess the alternate idea of a 20-year wait list with down payments to buy an over priced small car did not fly.

CD in Wisconsin
August 15, 2018 10:18 am

Just donated Josh. Keep up the great work!

Regarding Elon Musk, I still have a difficult time trying to understand how and why leftists (which I presume Elon Musk is) seem to believe it’s okay to be hypocritical without the hypocrisy affecting their credibility. They demonize fossil fuels but continue to contribute to the demand for them in their own lives……and they don’t see any problem with that.

Are the rest of us supposed to just ignore the hypocrisy? Is biting the hand that feeds you considered a sign of intelligence and logical, rational thinking on the Left? Inquiring minds want to know.

August 15, 2018 10:27 am

Ah, yes…

The law of ILLI (Immutable Law of Leftist Irony) is proven once again…

Leftists never cease to make me laugh at their astounding hypocrisy and stupidity.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  SAMURAI
August 15, 2018 10:49 am

Al Gore approves.

August 15, 2018 10:31 am

Elon Musk has always hated the fossil-fuel industry.”

Come on, you know better than that, we all do. It is much more accurate to say:

“Elon Musk has always tried to suck up to his mega-rich leftist backers by PRETENDING to hate the fossil fuel industry.”

Elon never actually has any emotion at all towards anything except where that next bundle of dollars is coming from, because that keeps the circus rolling. If enviros give him money, he’ll hate the fossil fuel biz for them. If the Saudi’s offer him money, then he’ll loved the fossil fuel biz. And if he has to satisfy both of them, I’m sure he’ll work out some kind of arrangement where he can hate fossil fuels on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and love them on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, with Sunday’s dedicated to talking his suppliers into giving him just a little bit more credit.

August 15, 2018 10:35 am

Only a fool would buy a company
that loses more money each year,
and will easily be defeated by
other brands of electric cars,
if it doesn’t go broke first
from negative cash flow.

The model 3 is a turkey with wheels,
and Musk is a con man.

Joel O’Bryan
August 15, 2018 10:43 am

Green virtue is only tolerated in western society because we are still awash in fossil fuels.

If you doubt that, then ponder why Green’s hatred of nuclear power exists.

August 15, 2018 11:08 am

The grift is always about pulling in new marks to drain money from. Problem is the House of Saud will expect immediate and substantial returns on their “investment”, and when that cash does not appear upon demand they will have no problem with, literally, crucifying Eloon Gantry. They will merrily dispatch a band of mercenaries to bring him to justice, while unleashing a gang of accountants to pinpoint and seize ALL his assets. I look forward to the festivities.

August 15, 2018 11:10 am

It appears that the Tesla board is (finally) getting involved:
Tesla’s board members are also racing to inoculate themselves from the possible fallout from Mr. Musk’s public statements.

Directors were blindsided last week when Mr. Musk claimed on Twitter that he had “funding secured” for a possible deal to convert Tesla from a publicly traded company into a private one. Such a transaction would most likely cost well over $10 billion.


kent beuchert
August 15, 2018 11:12 am

Just owning part of an electric car company won’t do anything with respect to diversifying their economy. They need to locate a Tesla assembly plant in their country. Just how much of Musk’s views about global warming/fossil fuels are real or just a convenient belief to sell cars is a matter of debate.

Reply to  kent beuchert
August 16, 2018 5:30 am

saudis came from tent living
and teslas building IN a tent
looks like a love match?

August 15, 2018 11:29 am

On a related note, Canada has introduced a carbon tax, which the federal government has just announced won’t be applied to Saudi Oil shipments.

John Hardy
August 15, 2018 11:41 am

I don’t know if he hates big oil, but he is definitely not keen on short sellers

Reply to  John Hardy
August 16, 2018 11:32 am

was he aware of such when he made his $420 proclamation?

should he be in jail right now?

August 15, 2018 12:34 pm

I guess the Solyndra financing seminar did not sink in.

Flight Level
August 15, 2018 12:37 pm

What goes up must come down. Is it me or there’s a lavatory malfunction on board ?

Fibo De Gjenn
August 15, 2018 12:47 pm

And he shal from now on be known as: Elon Snusk.

John F. Hultquist
August 15, 2018 1:50 pm

With enough money a Fund could buy one of the major auto companies, change the name and produce EVs on time and in a quanity.
Next: Sell them.

August 15, 2018 7:35 pm

the DNC just announced they’ll go ahead and accept oil tainted donations, too.
this is how you know the wheels are finally coming off the bus.
in case everybody didn’t get it- when they are no longer paid to do it, they stop.
so, logically, we know that the reason they were doing it was because somebody paid them to do it.
now it’s proven, mmk?

Roger Knights
August 15, 2018 8:02 pm

To follow the daily ups and downs of the Tesla drama, leave this page open:

Alan Miller
August 15, 2018 9:01 pm

He’s clearly shown his true colours of late what with the pedophile comment and now this- credibility 0.00

Eamon Butler
August 16, 2018 3:19 am

Surely, the climate can differentiate between bad fossil fuel and good intentions.


Adam Gallon
August 16, 2018 7:02 am
August 16, 2018 7:14 am

a commentor on ZH posted this example of a puncture in a battery..umm oh dear, no wonder they go up in crashes

A puncture can look like this:

August 16, 2018 11:35 am


Carbon Bigfoot
August 17, 2018 4:10 am

Musk is a liberal hypocrite and like a prostitute doesn’t care where the money comes from.

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