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.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Hillbilly Elegy: Ron Howard’s Inverted Mayberry

Hollywood knows two registers when it comes to the white working class (WWC): sentimentalizing and condescending. WWCs are either cute, neighborly, and folksy, or they constitute a tawdry, alien life form. There are 130 million WWCs in our country, and yet nobody in Hollywood has the slightest grasp of them. With ... Read More
Film & TV

Hillbilly Elegy: Ron Howard’s Inverted Mayberry

Hollywood knows two registers when it comes to the white working class (WWC): sentimentalizing and condescending. WWCs are either cute, neighborly, and folksy, or they constitute a tawdry, alien life form. There are 130 million WWCs in our country, and yet nobody in Hollywood has the slightest grasp of them. With ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More

The Rural Way

Almost every national Election Night reveals the same old red/blue map. The country geographically is a sea of red. The coasts and small areas along the southern border and around the Great Lakes remain blue atolls. Yet when the maps are recalibrated for population rather than area, the blue areas blow up, ... Read More

The Rural Way

Almost every national Election Night reveals the same old red/blue map. The country geographically is a sea of red. The coasts and small areas along the southern border and around the Great Lakes remain blue atolls. Yet when the maps are recalibrated for population rather than area, the blue areas blow up, ... Read More