“It‘s not responsible to complain about anything that we dislike as ‘socialism’ when many of our colleagues across the aisle are more than happy to support millions and potentially billions in government subsidies…for the…fossil fuel industry.” –@AOC pic.twitter.com/fDjotvBQbI
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) April 9, 2019
On Tuesday the Committee on Oversight and Reform held the first of two hearings on climate change titled, “The Need for Leadership to Combat Climate Change and Protect National Security” which at times devolved into a bitter partisan squabble. As CNN explained, Republican members of the committee used the hearing to assail Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman New York Democrat, and the Green New Deal legislation she has championed. GOP members attacked the scientific consensus on climate change and also argued Pentagon spending on climate preparedness is a waste of money. As you can see from Waleed Shahid’s tweet above, AOC wasn’t about to let her colleagues get away with demonizing her Green New Deal resolution as “socialism” while being in favor of subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, which amount to $20 billion/year.
Why This Matters: I (Miro) have written before that the tendency to label government programs that don’t suit our political agenda “socialism” while fully accepting the ones that do is dishonest. Fundamentally, fossil fuels and the pollution they create are costing human lives and it’s in the public’s best interest that we transition to emissions-free sources of energy. We can disagree on the best policy mechanisms to achieve that goal but dismissing good faith proposals without an honest public debate helps protect companies and not people. Even if many members of Congress are willing to have this debate on Capitol Hill, it’s undeniable that AOC is igniting a debate on the Green New Deal on Twitter and Google.