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Elon Musk Says He Has Reasons To Be Excited For President Trump

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk suggested in early January that he believes the incoming Trump administration could be a lot friendlier to the green industry than he originally thought.

Trump’s emphasis on job creation is a good sign for the green energy revolution, Musk told investors at Tesla’s Gigafactory Thursday. The company currently employs about 25,000 people across the U.S., and hopes to add another 1,000 at its solar panel factory in Buffalo.

“The President-elect has a strong emphasis on US manufacturing and so do we,” Musk told investors Thursday at the Gigafactory in Nevada. “We are building the biggest factory in the world right here, creating US jobs.”

Musk said that Trump’s stance on manufacturing will boost green energy even if the president-elect isn’t planning on becoming an enemy to the fossil fuel industry.

“I think we may see some surprising things from the next administration,” the Tesla CEO said. “We don’t think they will be negative on fossil fuels… but they may also be positive on renewables.”

Musk, who also owns 20 percent of solar panel provider SolarCity, was added to a group of business giants in December responsible for giving industry input on the private sector to Trump. The group contains big business tycoons such as Uber Technologies CEO Travis Kalanick and PepsiCo Chairman Indra Nooyi.

The announcement comes in advance of a meeting chaired by investor Peter Thiel with tech industry leaders, including Musk and Silicon Valley big shots Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Musk is a close associate of  Thiel, who backed Trump during his presidential campaign.

Tesla, for its part, also receives troves of government tax credits. The electric car maker recently acquired SolarCity, which was founded and directed by several members of Musk’s inner circle and is propped up primarily by billions in taxpayer dollars.

The relationship “really seemed to sneak up on people,” Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley’s lead auto analyst, who has struck a bullish tone on Tesla, told reporters after attending the Gigafactory walk-through.

He added: “To the extent that the creation of high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States is a priority of the incoming administration, we believe Mr. Musk might have some interests that could be very much in alignment with those of President-elect Trump.”

Musk has seemingly stumbled into a “surprising alignment of interests with the new presidential administration,” Jonas said, especially when factoring in their political differences. Trump is a climate skeptic and Musk believes Tesla and SolarCity will help destroy the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

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