Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” said the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mixed messaging on fracking “doesn’t bother her,” arguing that under a potential Biden presidency, it will be a “luxury” to lobby and “push the next Democratic administration” on progressive issues.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez whether or not she was bothered by the fact that Biden is now saying that he will not ban fracking.
“You know, it does not bother me,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with the fracking ban. I am happy to make my case but I understand he is in disagreement with that issue.”
Ocasio-Cortez emphasized that her role should Biden win will be to “push” his administration towards the progressive vision.
“I think it would be a privilege and it would be a luxury for us to be talking about what we would lobby the next Democratic and how we will push the next Democratic administration,” Ocasio-Cortez told Tapper. “But, in terms of my role, I believe that that has been my role. And my role is consistent, in making sure that we push the Democratic Party to have a larger vision for our future and that is who we are, that it is our job to make sure that we are serving all people in the United States, and particularly our base.”
“And, so, is my job to push the Democratic Party? Absolutely. And that has been my job since and that has been a part of my role since I have been elected,” she added.
During the final debate last Thursday, Biden falsely claimed that he “never said I oppose fracking.” However, Biden has said numerous times throughout the Democratic presidential primaries, telling voters and twice during the Democratic debate has said that he would ban fossil fuels and fracking.
Tapper went on to ask the progressive Democrat if Biden opposition to a fracking ban would hurt turnout amongst young progressive voters.
“Well, I believe that young people right now have a very disciplined, activist mind-set,” Ocasio-Cortez replied. “And they are not here with the intent of voting for their favorite person or voting for someone that they think is perfect as president. I think young people are actually quite disciplined and quite realistic and pragmatic in their vote, and they want to vote for who they are going to lobby.”
“Right now young people are so clear on their stances on so many political issues that they believe that they want to vote for a president that is at least is going to be receptive to their advocacy, activism, and protests, frankly,” she added. “There is no question that Joe Biden is a much better person in that position to be receptive and actually listen to the voices of advocates than Donald Trump who is intensely focused on enriching himself and his friends.”
On Biden’s remarks after the debate telling reporters after Thursday’s final debate that he would get “rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels,” adding that it would be a “long time” before his administration would get rid of fossil fuels for good, Ocasio-Cortez called it an “important first step.”
“When he says we are eliminating subsidies, I think that is, frankly, an important first step,” she stated. “A lot of folks who like to tout themselves as free-market capitalists, while still trying to make sure they get as much government subsidy, and propping up of the fossil fuel industry as possible. When you eliminate government subsidies, it becomes more difficult for fossil fuels to compete in the market. I think while the Vice President wants to make sure that he is not doing it by government mandate or regulation. I do believe we are moving towards that future.”
Earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez took a jab at Biden running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) during the VP debate, after she attempted to defend the Democratic presidential nominee stance on the issue of fracking.
“Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact. That is a fact,” Harris claimed.
“Fracking is bad, actually,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to Harris stating that both she and Biden’s plan will not ban fracking.
In February, Ocasio-Cortez joined Florida Rep. Darren Soto and Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in introducing legislation to implement an immediate federal ban on all new federal permits for fracking-related infrastructure. The act dubbed, Ban Fracking Act would ban fracking within 2,500 feet of homes and schools by 2021 and would move to ban fracking practices entirely nationwide by 2025.
Ocasio-Cortez believes it is “critically important” that if Biden wins, progressive leaders such as Sen. Sanders should be offered a cabinet position under a Biden Administration.
“I believe that it’s critically important that the Biden administration appoint progressive leaders, whether it’s in labor, whether it’s in the Treasury, whether it’s secretary of education, because the fact of the matter is, is that this isn’t just about the progressive movement. This is about making sure that we’re not just going back to how things were and rewinding the tape before the Trump administration,” Ocasio-Cortez said.