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Elon Musk has surprisingly endorsed oil mogul Rex Tillerson for secretary of state

They both agree on a national carbon tax and that the U.S. should remain a part of the Paris climate agreement.

President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At Trump Tower Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and a climate advocate, says ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson might make an “excellent” secretary of state.

Musk’s endorsement came just hours after a Senate panel voted to approve Tillerson. In response to a tweet from the Economist, Musk said: “This may sound surprising coming from me, but I agree with The Economist. Rex Tillerson has the potential to be an excellent Sec of State.

Yes, it does sound surprising, since Musk is at the forefront of alternative fuels, investing billions in solar-paneled factories and electric vehicles. Tillerson, meanwhile, has made the selling and extraction of fossil fuels his life’s work.

But the two appear to agree on climate change:

Tillerson and Musk are both very supportive of U.S. participation in the Paris climate accord, signed by 126 other nations. Musk, who joined Trump’s advisory team in December, and Tillerson could urge the president to keep the U.S. a signatory.

Both Tillerson and Musk have also endorsed the idea of a national carbon tax, with the hopes of encouraging individuals to drive less and businesses to invest in more sustainable forms of energy.

The EPA is slated to be led by Scott Pruitt, who doesn’t think climate change science is real. Yesterday, the communications team of the EPA was ordered by the Trump administration to remove the climate change page from its website, according to Reuters.

Separately, at Tillerson’s confirmation hearing, he refused to condemn human rights abuses in the Philippines, where President Duterte’s well-documented extra-judicial killings have left thousands dead. Tillerson also declined to label Saudi Arabia as a human rights violator, despite the fact that peaceful political dissenters are arbitrarily arrested there.

We reached out to Musk to ask what he thinks about Tillerson’s take on these human rights issues, but did not immediately hear back.

This article originally appeared on

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