Society

Elon Musk Resigns From Trump's Advisory Councils

| by Lauren Briggs

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has stepped down from two of President Donald Trump's advisory councils after the president announced that the U.S. is pulling out of the international Paris climate agreement.

"Am departing presidential councils," Musk tweeted on June 1. "Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."

Musk, who had been urging Trump to remain in the global climate change accord, indicated he would likely step down if Trump kept his campaign promise of leaving, saying that he would "have no choice but to depart councils" but that he was "cautiously optimistic of a positive decision," notes The Verge.

"Don't know which way Paris will go, but I've done all I can to advise directly to [President Trump], through others in [White House and] via councils, that we remain," Musk tweeted on May 31.

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Despite criticism, which escalated after Trump's controversial travel ban in February, Musk has remained on the business advisory council, saying that leaving "would be wrong," because he said at the time that he believed his presence was "doing good."

According to Business Insider, Musk said in a statement at the time:

Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration. My goals are to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilization, a consequence of which will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and a more inspiring future for all. I understand the perspective of those who object to my attending this meeting, but I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good.

Musk, whom some have said used his advisory position to encourage government tax credits that would benefit his companies, added that he would be sure to voice his opposition to the travel ban and recommend changes to it.

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But after the Paris decision, Musk, as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger both announced they would step down from the advisory panels.

"Protecting our planet and driving economic growth are critical to our future, and they aren't mutually exclusive," Iger said in a statement, according to Variety. "I deeply disagree with the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and, as a matter of principle, I've resigned from the President’s advisory council."

Trump said he ended the country's participation in agreement because it was harmful to U.S. workers.

"I will work to ensure that America remains the world's leader on environmental issues, but under a framework that is fair and where the burdens and responsibilities are equally shared among the many nations all around the world," Trump said.

​Sources: The Verge, Elon Musk/Twitter, Variety / Photo credit: Samferdselsdepartementet/Flickr

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