Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said late on Friday that he supports increasing domestic oil and gas drilling to offset energy problems that the U.S. is facing due to policies from the Biden administration and the war in Europe.
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” Musk tweeted. “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
Musk’s tweet comes as energy prices have been a problem under Democrat President Joe Biden, and there has been widespread support to cut U.S. imports of Russian oil in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
“A broad bipartisan majority of Americans think the United States should stop buying Russian oil,” Reuters reported. “Some 80% of Americans – including solid majorities of Republicans and Democrats – support the measure.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. imported approximately 672,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia and that during Biden’s first year in office “U.S. imports of Russian crude hit the highest levels in about a decade.”
When asked this week about whether continuing to buy Russian oil was effectively “financing the war” in Europe, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried to downplay it, saying, “it’s only about 10 percent of what we’re importing.”
“I’ve not made any announcement about any decision on that front, but our objective here and our focus is making sure that any step we take maximizes the impact on President Putin and minimizes it on the American people,” Psaki said. “And anyone who’s calling for an end to the carveout should be clear that that would rise — raise prices.”
Russia’s second largest oil company, Lukoil, which employs more than 100,000 people and produces a sizeable portion of the world’s oil supply, has called for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The company said in a statement:
The Board of Directors of LUKOIL expresses herewith its deepest concerns about the tragic events in Ukraine. Calling for the soonest termination of the armed conflict, we express our sincere empathy for all victims, who are affected by this tragedy. We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy.
The company makes every effort to continue its operations in all countries and regions where it is present, committed to its primary mission of a reliable supplier of energy to consumers around the world.
In its activities, LUKOIL aspires to contribute to peace, international relations and humanitarian ties.
“Lukoil shares listed in London have lost roughly 99% of their value following the invasion,” CNN added. “The oil giant is already facing calls for a boycott in the United States, where there are 230 Lukoil gasoline stations owned by American franchisees.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.