AOC Is One Election Away From Controlling The Committee In Charge Of Oil And Gas Drilling On Public Lands

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Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who led the charge for progressives’ once-fringe Green New Deal, is now just one election away from chairing the House subcommittee responsible for overseeing America’s oil and gas drilling on public lands, E&E News reported Tuesday.

Ocasio-Cortez currently serves as the ranking member of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, establishing her as a prime candidate to head the committee and take steps to advance a progressive climate agenda in the event Democrats take control of the House, according to E&E News. The New York congresswoman recently reintroduced the Green New Deal — which has been harshly criticized as radical and expensive by Republicans since she first introduced it in 2019 — as progressive allies Rep. Ro Khanna of California and Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts introduced an accompanying health care package, dubbed the Green New Deal for Health. (RELATED: AOC, Dems Team Up To Reintroduce Green New Deal Alongside Sweeping Health Package)

“A lot of our victories have already begun, for example, by breaking off some of the pieces [of the Green New Deal] and incorporating it in different areas of must-pass legislation including the Inflation Reduction Act,” Ocasio-Cortez told the outlet. Her office, alongside that of Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, maintains an ongoing document that tracks the ways in which the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have implemented core tenets of the Green New Deal.

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden’s signature climate law, the U.S. is expected to undergo a significant drawdown in coal-fired power even as China continues to aggressively bring new coal plants online. Analysts at Goldman Sachs now estimate that the bill will cost roughly $1.2 trillion in subsidies for green energy projects over the next ten years, more than three times the government’s initial estimated cost of $370 billion.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York — the ranking member of the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee — told the outlet that he never believed that what was once a fringe element in the Democratic Party “would ever become inside-baseball people.” A Democratic takeover of the House in 2024 would see Bowman, as well as other climate-focused progressives like Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri and Khanna, in high-ranking positions alongside Ocasio-Cortez, E&E News reported.

“The key to Congress is you just have to win, and then you have to stick around a bit,” Khanna, the former chair of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on the Environment, told E&E News. “And the more progressive classes we get, and the more progressives stick it out in the House, the more power we’ll build.”

If she chaired the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, Ocasio-Cortez would have oversight powers over energy production, mining and drilling on federal lands. The Biden administration has in recent months taken sweeping action to block mining and drilling projects, while simultaneously encouraging conservation efforts on federal lands.

The office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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