Waldman: What AOC gets about coal that the GOP does not

After a brief, amusing back-and-forth between AOC and Kentucky Representative Andy Barr this week, it emerged that she has a better grasp of how best to help workers meet the future of energy production (Paul Waldman, The Washington Post):

There are a few ways to deal with the reality of the people affected by coal’s decline. You can give them phony promises that if we just cut environmental regulations, all the coal jobs will come back. You can just say their problems are all caused by a bunch of hippies or elitists. 

Or you can try to create a modern economy that will offer jobs for people in those communities and give them things like health care and child care that will make their economic lives less harsh. Republicans have chosen the first and second; Democrats have chosen the third.

With only 53,000 or so coal miners left in the US, green energy rhetoric needs to include how to protect those in that dying industry, not about how to revive the dinosaur. America’s future is in clean energy production.

(The benefit of having a maverick like AOC in Congress is the ideas she pulls into public discussion. Politicians pay lip service to this stuff on the campaign trail. She champions the causes she fronted two years ago.)

#greenNewDeal #AOC #energy