‘Folks may not think of that because I’m from the Bronx, but my family in Puerto Rico was a rural family too…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., invited his House colleague Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY, to visit a coal mine in his district—and the Bronx-area congresswoman accepted the offer.
According to an article last week from McClatchy DC, she said she’s looking forward to it.
“It’s very close to my heart,” said the congresswoman about struggling Appalachia. “Folks may not think of that because I’m from the Bronx, but my family in Puerto Rico was a rural family too. I understand some of the challenges.”
The invite came about because Ocasio–Cortez is the sponsor of the Green New Deal which would shut down coal mines and other fossil fuels as part of its stated goal of net-zero carbon emissions.
Barr said he appreciates the congresswoman’s passion about the proposal, which he called “genuine” and “heartfelt.” But he added: “I want her to learn about the coal industry the way I have learned about the coal industry, not through textbooks, not through politically charged movies, but by talking to human beings.”
Ocasio–Cortez said that the dignity of coal miners was on her mind when she thought up the Green New Deal.
“It’s a complete injustice the cancer levels that a lot of these communities are confronting,” she stated. “We have to plan a future for all of our communities, no matter what. Failure to plan is planning to fail, and I feel like we’ve been failing Appalachian communities for a very long time and it’s time to turn that ship around.”
Nearly all of them voted “present,” including six of the bill’s Senate co-sponsors who are vying for the 2020 presidential nomination.
Only three red-state Democrats and one Independent (Angus King of Maine) joined its 53 Republicans to vote against the bill.
Said McConnell: “The vast majority of Senate Democrats could not dismiss something as crazy as ending the production of American oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy within a decade.”