Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked the Sierra Club to publicize his $6 million in donations to the left-leaning environmental group, days after he drew scrutiny for donating nearly $40,000 to a political action committee that supports House Republicans.
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, disclosed in an email to employees that Musk had personally asked him to tweet his support for the Tesla executive and promote his donations to the organization, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Brune agreed to Musk’s request, posting several tweets in support of Musk and his efforts in “tackling the climate crisis & advancing clean energy.”
A Musk spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that he had asked the Sierra Club to make his donations public.
“Elon has spent most of his career fighting to prevent climate change and protect the environment,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Almost every major carmaker in the world is accelerating development of electric cars primarily because of what Elon and his team have achieved with Tesla.”
“He has also made significant philanthropic contributions to organizations seeking to end the use of fossil fuels, including $6 million to the Sierra Club. Elon is committed to backing the Sierra Club in its fight for clean energy and recently asked them to make his support public to reaffirm the sincerity of his commitment,” the statement added.
The Sierra Club did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation.
Facing questions on Twitter about whether his donation to a GOP-tied group were indicative of his personal political leanings, Musk attempted to clarify the situation, stating that he is “registered independent and politically moderate.” He also said he had not personally sent the donation.
“I do not actually see the checks (changed that policy today),” Musk wrote on Twitter. “A nominal annual amount goes out automatically to both parties to maintain dialogue. I have given vastly more to humanitarian causes.”
In his email to Sierra Club staffers, Brune said that any donor who requested that their anonymous donation be made public would receive the same courtesy, Bloomberg reported.