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‘The Amount Elon Musk Just Paid for Twitter ($44 Billion) is Nearly Equal to Biden’s Proposed Climate Budget ($44.9 Billion)’

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"The amount Elon Musk just paid for Twitter ($44 billion) is nearly equal to Biden’s proposed climate budget ($44.9 billion), in case anyone's wondering how seriously we’re taking the climate crisis[.]"

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On April 27 2022, an Imgur user shared a screenshot of a viral tweet claiming the amount of money Elon Musk would purportedly pay in order to acquire Twitter was nearly equal to funds allocated in the Biden administration’s proposed climate budget:

The tweet, which was published on April 26 2022, stated that “the amount Elon Musk just paid for Twitter ($44 billion) is nearly equal to Biden’s proposed climate budget ($44.9 billion.)” One element of the tweet referred to discourse about Musk’s intent to acquire Twitter, and the other referenced U.S. President Joe Biden’s “climate budget”; no links were included with the tweet.

Regarding Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, an April 25 2022 NPR article mentioned a $44 billion price tag:

Elon Musk will soon hold the keys to Twitter.

[Twitter] announced on [April 25 2022] that it has accepted the Tesla CEO’s $44 billion offer to take the company private. That means the world’s richest person who has a penchant for theatrics and erratic behavior is about to have the power to reshape discourse on a social network used by more than 200 million people every day.

An ongoing New York Times liveblog about Musk and Twitter noted that as of April 27 2022, the deal had not yet been finalized:

Twitter’s board approved Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover offer [in April 25 2022], but the deal won’t be final until it’s put to a shareholder vote. Twitter has taken the first step in that process, filing its merger document with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The article added that it was still possible for the Twitter deal to fall apart:

The deal has an Oct. 24 [2022] “drop-dead date,” meaning both sides could walk away if a deal hasn’t closed by then. If the deal is still awaiting regulatory approval, Mr. Musk and Twitter would have another six months to close it. Regulators in the United States may examine Musk’s purchase of Twitter, but they are unlikely to sue to block it because it is not an example of a company buying a competitor. The deal may face tougher scrutiny in Europe, though, where officials warned [on April 26 2022] that Twitter under Musk’s ownership would have to abide by the European Union’s new Digital Services Act, which requires social media companies to police content more aggressively. Mr. Musk recently pinned a tweet to his profile addressing his free speech philosophy: “By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law.”

Nevertheless, it was clear that Elon Musk had offered $44 billion to acquire Twitter. The tweet accurately described the cost of the deal.

The second part of the tweet said that Musk’s $44 billion was “nearly equal to Biden’s proposed climate budget,” citing appropriations of $44.9 billion. It was reasonably straightforward to validate the source of that figure.

On March 28 2022, the Biden White House published “President Biden’s FY 2023 Budget Reduces Energy Costs, Combats the Climate Crisis, and Advances Environmental Justice” to WhiteHouse.gov. After its introductory paragraphs, the press release explained:

A core pillar of President Biden’s economic agenda is creating good-paying union jobs and reducing energy costs by tackling the climate crisis. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) has already jumpstarted hundreds of projects across the country, including those that will increase resilience to climate change and extreme weather, strengthen U.S. energy security, and deliver environmental justice. And as the President said during his State of the Union address, the Administration is committed to working with Congress on legislation that cuts cost for families—including reducing energy costs by combatting climate change and growing the clean energy economy—while also expanding the productive capacity of the economy and reducing the deficit.

[President Biden’s fiscal year 2023] Budget presents President Biden’s vision for the strategic and sustained investments needed through annual appropriations to continue to decrease energy prices and grow the economy over the long term. The President’s Budget invests a total of $44.9 billion in discretionary budget authority to tackle the climate crisis, $16.7 billion more than FY 2021 or an increase of nearly 60 percent.

Several bullet points followed, appearing to specify how some of the $44.9 billion in climate crisis funds would be allocated. A 158-page long version of Biden’s 2023 budget was also uploaded to WhiteHouse.gov [PDF], with the $44.9 billion figure mentioned once on page 25:

The President has not only taken bold action to confront the climate crisis, but he has turned it into an opportunity to create good-paying union jobs, advance environmental justice, and position America to lead the industries of the future. At his direction, the Administration has moved swiftly and decisively to restore America’s global climate leadership, accelerate clean energy to lower costs and create jobs, jumpstart an electric future that is Made in America, advance environmental justice in line with Justice40 and economic revitalization, and bolster our Nation’s resilience in the face of accelerating extreme weather and natural disasters. To build on this progress, the President’s Budget invests a total of $44.9 billion to tackle the climate crisis, a $16.7 billion increase over 2021 enacted. The Budget also makes historic investments in environmental justice, coal and powerplant communities facing energy transition, and innovation …

A popular tweet claimed that the amount Elon Musk offered for Twitter “is nearly equal to Biden’s proposed climate budget ($44.9 billion), in case anyone’s wondering how seriously we’re taking the climate crisis.” Several high-profile articles placed the value of Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter at $44 billion. As for Biden’s “climate budget,” a March 28 2022 press release from the White House indicated that the fiscal year 2023 budget “invests a total of $44.9 billion … to tackle the climate crisis.” As such, the figures cited in the tweet for both Musk buying Twitter and the amount budgeted by Biden’s administration to combat climate change were both accurate.