Elon Musk leaves White House councils over climate-accord withdrawal

Musk has pursued a range of clean-energy technologies in the last few years, including electric cars, solar roof panels, and improvements in battery technology.

Vicky Webb | Jun 02, 2017

   

Elon Musk is parting ways with the Trump administration. The entrepreneur-innovator who heads up Tesla and SpaceX has officially stepped down from the White House advisory councils on which he had been serving. In a Twitter posting, Musk cited President Trump's withdrawal this week from the 2015 Paris accord on climate change as the reason for his resignation.

"Am departing presidential councils," Musk tweeted Thursday. "Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."

Musk further tweeted that he had pressed Trump for the last several months to keep the United States engaged in the accord. On Wednesday, Musk tweeted that he would leave the councils if Trump decided to not heed his advice. On Thursday, he carried through on that threat.

Musk has pursued a range of clean-energy technologies in the last few years, including electric cars, solar roof panels, and improvements in battery technology. He accepted a position on the White House councils at the start of Trump's administration despite Trump's stated reservations about renewable-energy technology and disbelief in the science behind climate change. Musk's argument at the time was that it was important to be involved in White House policymaking and try to shape it, no matter who is president.

Several other technology business leaders also on the White House councils expressed disapproval with the president's decision on the accord but said that they would stay on board. They include Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM; Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel; and Michael Dell, CEO and founder of Dell.

"Here's my belief," said Krzanich. "Just like exiting the Paris accord and walking away is not a good thing. Walking away from the administration it is the administration of our country we need to engage. And what I'll do is I'll spend time in there talking about 'what are we going to do? How do we get back in.'"

 

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