Not only was AOC's oil tweet offensive, but it came at a time when no one wants to spend more on clean energy
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is learning the hard way that deleting a tweet only makes it more visible.
The New York Democrat deleted her insensitive response to the collapse of the oil industry after it incited a tsunami of backlash.
But that has only made her hot take more visible as conservatives use screenshots of AOC’s oil tweet to troll her on social media.
AOC intended to bring awareness to her crusade to transition to the use of clean energy under the Green New Deal. In response to oil prices going negative on Monday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:
“You absolutely love to see it.”
She went on to make a case for investing in green energy.
Her response was interpreted as insensitive to the millions of Americans working in the oil and gas industry who are losing their jobs and struggling with financial hardships.
Conservatives pounced on the moment to underscore how AOC and her Democratic peers are allegedly willing to sacrifice rural America to push their agenda.
A seemingly-apologetic AOC composed a more politically correct statement. This time, she kept her snarky comments out of it and got straight to the point, calling the price collapse a “turning point in the climate movement.”
She attempted to undo the damage by underscoring the fact that she wants to create jobs – not celebrate their demise.
But it was too late. Screenshots of the AOC’s deleted tweet filled the thread as conservatives used her snide celebration as a mallet with which to bash the entire progressive movement.
What was lost during the whole ordeal was the fact that not only was Ocasio-Cortez’s delivery flawed— her message was poorly timed as well.
This is absolutely not the time to push investments in clean energy. Not because they’re not a good idea or because climate change is a hoax— but because green energy doesn’t make economic sense. Of course, AOC should know that being an economics scholar and all, but if ever there were a time that green energy was under siege, it’s now.
Environmentalists shouldn’t be cheering low oil prices; they should be cheering high ones.
Low oil prices translate to decreased demand for green energy, especially with a recession on the cards. The 20 million-plus unemployed Americans aren’t going to be investing in fancy new electric cars if it costs peanuts to fill up their existing gas-guzzlers.
Sure, this kind of collapse is going to put a lot of players in the oil industry out of business. But that’s not great for the environment either.
Lorne Stockman of climate advocacy group Oil Change International warned that this kind of market chaos is actually terrible from an environmental perspective.
[Oil industry bankruptcies] are an environmental nightmare in the making [because they’ll leave] wells left to rot as bankruptcy proceedings are going through.
Not only that, but the rapid deterioration of the industry means many companies don’t have enough money to secure their wells before ditching them.
Many wells could be abandoned, leaving greenhouse gases like methane and other pollutants to leak out. A bunch of rotting wells certainly isn’t something proponents of clean energy would “absolutely love to see.”
Plus, when oil and gas prices are high, drillers work to keep methane contained because it can be reused for fuel. But in times like this, the gas isn’t valuable to drillers, so they burn it or let it leak into the atmosphere.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a credible argument for moving toward clean energy. But the coronavirus-induced recession doesn’t support it.
Ocasio-Cortez did little to advance her own agenda with her inflammatory statement. AOC’s oil gaffe just gave Republicans more ammunition to paint the Democrats as villains out to trick and bamboozle middle America.