Mar 30, 2019 - Economy

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez digs into GND policy

In this image, AOC and Chris Hayes sit across from each other on a raised circle platform at the townhall.

AOC at the MSNBC town hall. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

At a MSNBC town hall on Friday evening, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to Republican criticisms of the Green New Deal and shared her policy details on the resolution, pointing out that a primary focus of plan is to simply make climate change a "national priority."

Why it matters: Highlights of the town hall resulted in viral moments on Twitter — like AOC admonishing an audience member who called former Rep. Bob Inglis a "moron" — but actual policy discussion took place, too. A key point of focus: "transitioning" fossil fuel workers into new energy jobs.


  • AOC proposed to fully fund "the pensions of coal miners in West Virginia" at the town hall, while referencing GOP criticisms of how much it would cost to carry out the GND. She emphasized that they have to start somewhere, which could also include "rebuilding Flint."
  • She also argued that fossil fuel jobs cannot be "better, more dignified and [with a] higher wage with a stronger labor movement behind it than new energy jobs," going forward.
  • "What I'm tired of is us worrying more about the future of fossil fuels than worrying about the future of fossil fuel workers," she added.

Buzz: Ocasio-Cortez also responded to ongoing GOP criticisms on the Green New Deal, as they call it a socialist resolution and equate it to getting rid of cows and airplanes. "It is next level. I didn't expect them to make total fools of themselves."

Okay, where did the "cow" thing come from? AOC's office released a more informal FAQ alongside the Green New Deal resolution that goes beyond the finalized proposal, and one version throws a tongue-in-cheek mention to "farting cows" — as in, they'll still be around in 10 years, and that's why the GND goal is net-zero rather than zero emissions. AOC's spokesman Corbin Trent described the FAQ cow statement as "literally — clearly — irony,” per the Washington Post.

The bottom line: Some key proposals in the Green New Deal, or H.Res. 109, are achieving net-zero U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonizing all the major segments of the economy, including power, manufacturing, buildings and transportation.

Go deeper: A GND policy refresher

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