Watch CBS News

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deletes tweet celebrating crash in oil prices: "You absolutely love to see it"

Texas town deals with crises over oil, virus
Texas town struggles with plummeting oil market and coronavirus crisis 03:13

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deleted a tweet she posted Monday cheering the unprecedented crash in oil prices resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Ocasio-Cortez celebrated it as a positive for the environment and used it to promote her Green New Deal — but her critics pointed out that companies and employees are being burned by it.

"You absolutely love to see it," Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, wrote with a retweet of a message about oil prices falling below zero for the first time, after coronavirus shutdowns have decimated demand.

"Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it's the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy. A key opportunity," she added.

Ocasio-Cortez deleted the tweet, but kept up several other messages and retweets lauding the drop in oil prices. She also posted a different, more measured response to the same tweet she initially responded to. In one, she said now is the time "to create millions of good jobs building out the infrastructure and clean energy," and concluded, "For our economy, our planet, and our future, we need a #GreenNewDeal."

Ocasio-Cortez sponsored the Green New Deal, a proposal to overhaul major aspects of the U.S. economy in response to climate change and economic inequality. The resolution calls for the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions and move toward more sustainable energy sources. 

Conservative critics blasted her tweet, emphasizing the human and economic toll that comes with the falling demand for oil.

"Oil & gas workers are losing their livelihoods," House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, from Louisiana, wrote in response. "Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's response was 'you absolutely love to see it.'"

President Trump appeared to respond to the uproar Tuesday morning, tweeting, "We will never let the great U.S. Oil & Gas Industry down." He also said he'd instructed his energy and Treasury secretaries to "formulate a plan" for ensuring funds for those industries during the coronavirus crisis. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.