AOC Deletes Tweet Cheering Collapse of Domestic Oil Production

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) / Getty Images
April 20, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) deleted a tweet Monday celebrating a collapse in short-term crude oil prices as an opportunity to push for the Green New Deal.

"You absolutely love to see it. This along with record low interest rates means it's the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet. *cough*," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet recorded by political commentator Stephen L. Miller. She linked to a tweet reporting on the price of American crude, which plummeted as the coronavirus pandemic has obliterated demand.

Ocasio-Cortez deleted the tweet shortly after sending it Monday afternoon, but she tweeted again to say the state of the energy market "is being acknowledged as a turning point in the climate movement."

"Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline," she wrote. "This along w/ low interest rates means it's the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy. A key opportunity."

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate, a U.S. oil benchmark, slated for delivery in May fell below zero on Monday in an unprecedented collapse brought on in part by concerns over the United States' storage capability.

Ocasio-Cortez also said she would oppose a new round of congressional coronavirus stimulus, saying her constituents were upset with the initial round of stimulus.

"As the person who's representing the most impacted district in the country, my constituents are upset. My constituents were upset about the first package," she said. "In my district and in New York City and in our community, we've had more deaths than 9/11. Multiple times of 9/11 have happened in the time since Congress has recessed. So I'm not here with the luxury of time."

Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) joined Ocasio-Cortez in criticizing the latest proposed stimulus due to a lack of transparency around the negotiations and insufficient funding for state and individual assistance.

Ocasio-Cortez is also not the only congressional Democrat who has described the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity for Democratic legislative priorities.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.) last month described the crisis as a "tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision," and he was subsequently tapped by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to lead the new coronavirus oversight committee.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has made concessions to politicians further to the left, such as Ocasio-Cortez, in an effort to win support from more extreme corners of the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez, however, said Biden's outreach, including an offer to lower the age for Medicare eligibility but not pass Medicare for All, was "almost insulting."