The Corner

Elections

Biden Taps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Craft Climate-Change Policy

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D, Mass.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., February 7, 2019 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

In an effort to repair the frayed relationship among Democratic Party factions, Joe Biden has created something of a Menshevik–Bolshevik “campaign unity task force” to explore policy initiatives on issues like climate change.

When I say “Menshevik–Bolshevik,” I’m only being slightly hyperbolic. Biden has tapped Trotskyite Bernie Sanders — a man who wants to prosecute “fossil-fuel executives” for climate change, and nationalize then eliminate oil production — to lead these efforts. Bernie, in turn, has picked Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be the co-chair of climate-change committee.

The last time AOC offered her ideas on mitigating carbon emissions, she proposed the elimination of all fossil-fuel energy, all nuclear energy, 99 percent of all “combustion-engine vehicle[s]” — or most transportation outside of roller skates and sailboats — and all meat, within ten years. Her plan called for the retrofitting of every building in the entire country with “state-of-the-art energy efficiency”; a government-guaranteed “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security”; a free education for life; “healthy food” to every American; and “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work.

The only thing more irrational than her authoritarian impulse is her complete disregard for the basic laws of economics.

If you’re going to align yourself with the most radical elements of American politics, you should be held accountable. Someone might ask Biden, who predominantly speaks about climate change in platitudes, which of Ocasio-Cortez’s many ideas makes her an ideal person to craft policy?

Biden has voiced support for a national fracking ban, which would not only decimate natural-gas production and spike energy prices — the United States is the top producer of natural gas in the world — but hurt efforts to diminish carbon emissions. That’s not even to mention the thousands of jobs that would be lost.

Now, I was somewhat skeptical Biden will hold this position through the general election, but judging from his committee hires, a fracking ban might be the most moderate Democratic policy position we can hope for.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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