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Elon Musk Exposes Deep Coal Divide in Energy-Strapped Australia

July 13, 2017, 7:36 PM

Elon Musk’s intervention in Australia’s energy crisis is widening a divide over the future of coal.

The billionaire Tesla Inc. founder, who’s promised to help solve an Australian state’s clean energy obstacles, sees no place for the fossil fuel. That conflicts with the national government’s push for it remaining a mainstay source of electricity generation, as well as the “clean, beautiful coal” technologies that U.S. President Donald Trump sees helping to save American mining jobs.

“Coal doesn’t have a long-term future,” Musk told reporters in Adelaide last week during a short trip to Australia. “The writing’s on the wall.”

His ...