- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faced a torrent of social-media backlash on Monday after tweeting her “love” for the oil industry’s pandemic-prompted implosion.

News that oil prices have spiraled into “negative values” prompted the New York Democrat to send out a gleeful tweet to her 6.7 million followers.

“You absolutely love to see it,” she tweeted. “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.”

The message was soon deleted and replaced.

“Now is the time to create millions of good jobs building out the infrastructure and clean energy necessary to save our planet for future generations,” she wrote. “For our economy, our planet, and our future, we need a #GreenNewDeal.”

Critics noted the stark contrast in rhetoric. Some responses include: 

  • “Cheering for the collapse of an industry that supports millions of people is a perfect example of why your proposal has failed to garner meaningful support.”
  • “You’re literally basking in the pink slips of American workers. Disgraceful.”
  • “You must have accidentally deleted your original tweet where you said you ‘absolutely love’ to see oil prices at negative values. Don’t worry, though, it’s been preserved.”
  • “Praising the crash of the oil market is not a good look. And it makes using fossil fuels way more attractive than green energy now, not less attractive.”

John Sexton of the conservative website Hotair added that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t appear to think through the repercussions of an oil industry collapse.

“The problems with this are pretty obvious but since AOC doesn’t see them, let’s think about this for a moment,” he wrote. “For starters, this sudden drop in oil prices likely means many thousands more people will soon be out of a job. Even if you think that’s good in some long-term global sense it’s pretty insensitive to be cheering for those people to be out of work in the midst of a pandemic. Maybe that’s why she deleted her tweet.”

“AOC looks at this disaster and sees a silver lining,” he continued. “We should embrace her ten year plan for rebuilding the entire economy without fossil fuels. But again, no one thinks the demand for oil is going to remain low for a decade. It should start to pick up in a matter of months. There’s no way our economy comes back without it.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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