'Revenge of the Electric Car' premiere: Elon Musk arrives in a Tesla Roadster
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is among a roster of chief executives from Silicon Valley set to meet with president-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday, according to news reports.
Musk has suggested that climate change is among the most urgent challenges facing mankind, one reason his company makes only zero-emission electric cars.
The president-elect, on the other hand, has used an excretory profanity to describe climate science and suggested that it is a creation of China to hurt U.S. business.
Which should make for an interesting meeting, if nothing else.
The meeting was reported by The Wall Street Journal (login required), which named executives from many prominent technology and software firms as attendees.
As well as Musk, they include the CEOs of Alphabet (formerly Google), Amazon, Apple, Cisco, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle, and the chief operating officer of Facebook.
Elon Musk signs new 2013 Tesla Model S at Tesla Store opening, Austin, Texas [photo: John Griswell]
The president-elect's policies on energy and the environment are expected to be a sharp departure from those of his predecessor.
Trump has pledged to unlock and deregulate exploration for fossil fuels, assist in the construction of new oil refineries, and "bring back coal," among other promises.
He has named Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, which Pruitt repeatedly sued to prevent it from enforcing its regulations.
Texas governor Rick Perry, another fossil-fuel supporter, is said to be a candidate to lead the Department of Energy.
And Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, is reportedly under consideration for secretary of state, although no decision has been made on that position.
With the exception of noted Libertarian venture capitalist Peter Thiel, most technology executives did not back Trump in his successful quest for the presidency.
2016 Tesla Model S with glass roof option
And virtually all those executives accept the scientific consensus that human activity has contributed to climate change.
No agenda for the meeting has been disclosed, according to the Journal, but one focus is expected to be how to keep jobs in the U.S.
While Tesla manufactures all its cars in California at present, Apple builds the bulk of its consumer-electronics devices in China.
Trump has suggested in the past that Apple should open a U.S. factory.
The report also suggests that the executives are concerned about restrictions on immigration, enforcement of anti-trust laws, and government demands for data on the users of their products and services.
Relatively little is known about Trump's specific positions on electric cars.
President Barack Obama sits in 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at Detroit Auto Show, Jan 2016
The sole specific reference appears to be one referring to "all this stuff that doesn't work" in response to a question on Fox News about government loans to Fisker Automotive.
That company declared bankruptcy, and the U.S. Department of Energy lost roughly $100 million of its low-interest loan to Fisker.
The remains of Fisker were later bought out of bankruptcy court by Chinese parts supplier Wanxiang, which is now attempting to resurrect the Fisker Karma as the Karma Revero.
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