Brian Rogers is the Executive Director of America Rising Squared (AR2) a conservative-based policy organization.
With Elon Musk protesting President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord by quitting a White House advisory council, and the new Model 3 rolling off the assembly line this summer, Tesla fans must be tempted to feel pretty good about themselves these days.
After all, the company’s stock price is hitting all-time highs as thousands join a two-year wait-list not only to drive Tesla’s latest vehicle, but to do something good for the planet!
But Tesla has a dirty little secret with big implications for its future. It’s what Greenpeace International co-founder Rex Weyler calls “The Tesla dream,” the false idea that Mr. Musk’s electric vehicles (EVs) are a true game-changing “clean energy” solution to global climate change.
In reality, CO2-emitting fossil fuels produce the energy to forge the thousands of pounds of steel, plastic, and metal that make up each and every Tesla vehicle. And more important, many of the key components in EVs rely on exotic and scarce “rare earth” minerals such as graphite, cobalt, and lithium, which are produced under some of the most appalling environmental and labor conditions on the planet.
The ecological and human cost of these rare earths vital to EVs and other “clean energy” technologies is the focus of a new white paper by my group, America Rising Squared (AR2). A sampling of our findings:
To date, Tesla has declined to identify the source of rare earths used in its components – namely, graphite, cobalt, and lithium.
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