Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk told reporters in Norway on Aug. 29 that, while sustainable energy sources should be developed, the world must continue to extract oil and gas in order to sustain civilization.
Musk made the remarks to reporters ahead of the Offshore Northern Shore (ONS) conference in Stavanger, Norway, where Musk is scheduled to speak.
After Musk arrived at the conference venue, he told reporters he had come “in appreciation for the support of the Norwegian people for electric vehicles” and thanked them for their “tremendous support.”
The Tesla chief added that, at the conference, he was planning to provide “ideas for a transition to a sustainable energy world,” including the possibility of expanding wind power generation in the North Sea, the body of water between the UK and Norway.
“Places where it’s very windy, there might be potential for tremendous amount of wind power and when combined with stationary battery packs; this could be a very strong sustainable energy source in the winter,” Musk said.
Asked if he believes oil and gas should continue to be used, Musk replied in the affirmative.
“Realistically, we do need to use oil and gas in the short term because otherwise civilization will crumble,” he said. “In order for civilization to continue to function, we do need oil and gas,” he continued, adding that “any reasonable person would conclude that.”
Not only should oil and gas should continue to be used to keep civilization running, Musk said that further exploration “is warranted at this time.”
Use of fossil fuels should continue at the same time as ongoing efforts around “accelerating the advance of sustainable energy,” he added.
Musk’s remarks about the continued need for fossil fuels in order to sustain civilization come as the oil and gas industry looks to the future with caution.
‘Starved for Capital’
American oil and gas producers face a shrinking supply of capital, a hostile regulatory environment, and shortages of materials and labor that altogether present significant hurdles against new drilling.
By Tom Ozimek