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LETTER: Rob Morrison and Elon Musk

From reader David Beringer

Re: Kootenay-Columbia MP exploring electric passenger train service, May 6

I wish I could believe MP Morrison is sincere in his expressed desire to “bring an electric passenger train service to the region.” His claim to have had a meeting with Tesla to discuss this topic is just too much. Tesla has nothing to do with railroads! True, Tesla is much more than a car company; in fact, Elon Musk has stated that Tesla’s energy business will be bigger than its car business.

Musk’s initiation of the Hyperloop was a response to his “disappointment” in 2013 at the approval of California’s high speed rail project.

Tesla’s soon-to-be released electric semi trucks will compete head-on with freight rail transport.

Electrification of rail in Canada is a great idea and would be a far better use of taxpayers’ money and almost certainly create more jobs than our continued subsidy of the fossil fuel sector. Fossil fuels are 19th century fuels. We are into the second decade of the 21st century with atmospheric C02 levels hovering around 420 PPM – a level that last existed three million years ago!

I appreciate Morrison’s suggestion that an electric train would work as a non-partisan solution to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, when reviewing his most recent message from your MP flyer, I can find no mention of trains, electrification, or cutting GHGs.

In fact, the leaflet reads like a Conservative gun owner’s lock ‘em up and throw away the key tirade. Hardly the sort of message someone who is trying to work on a non-partisan regional transportation network would publish.

In closing, I would appreciate more sincerity and less repetition of party talking points from my MP. If mentioning Tesla in a nonsensical context was meant as a dog whistle to signal: “I’m green, vote for me,” then the strategy failed, at least for me.

David Beringer

Nelson