Elon Musk calls for increased nuclear, oil and gas production

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Elon Musk says the world must meet its energy needs as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens energy supplies.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Time

Elon Musk over the weekend stressed the need to greater production of oil and gas and urged Europe to go nuclear for its energy needs. The Tesla chief’s tweets came as Gasoline prices in the United States have increased and one Ukrainian nuclear power plant seized in the middle of Russia’s War in Ukraine.

“I hate to say it, but we need to increase oil and gas production immediately,” he said. tweeted Friday. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.”

He noted that this could hurt sales of electric cars like those from Tesla, but acknowledged that sustainable energy production could not instantly offset the loss of Russian oil and gas exports.

Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil and natural gas, providing 10% of the world’s supply and about 40% for the European Union. The war has strained relations between Russia and many countries, including those who buy its energy supplies.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden bans US oil and gas imports from Russia and said European allies were working on strategies to reduce their dependence on Russian energy. The European Commission on Tuesday presented its plan to make the region independent of Russian fossil fuels “well before” 2030.

On Sunday, Musk turned his attention to nuclear energy following the Russian seizure of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, the largest in Europe.

“Hopefully it is now extremely clear that Europe should restart inactive nuclear power plants and increase the power of existing ones,” he said. tweeted. “This is *critical* to national and international security.”

The United States Embassy in Kiev on Friday, in a Tweetercalled Russia’s Attack about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant war crime. And the invading forces are advancing towards another nuclear power plant, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told US lawmakers over the weekend.

Many countries abandoned nuclear power after accidents like the partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island reactor in Pennsylvania in 1979, Ukraine Chernobyl merger in 1986 and the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. The Chernobyl collapse occurred when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union; the site of the former factory is currently occupied by Russian forces.

Germany is one of the European nations to turn away from nuclear energy. In 2011, then-Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an energy transition that would phase out nuclear and coal power in favor of renewables. Germany closed three nuclear power plants at the end of 2021, leaving three plants active in the country.

Meanwhile, Germany has become more dependent on Russia for its natural gas and coal supplies, Bloomberg noted. But after invading Ukraine, Germany surprised Russia by blocking approval for Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.



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