Ocasio-Cortez calls Biden's reported 'middle ground' climate policy a 'dealbreaker'

Ocasio-Cortez calls Biden's reported 'middle ground' climate policy a 'dealbreaker'
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMichelle Obama weighs in on Trump, 'Squad' feud: 'Not my America or your America. It's our America' Trump steps up attacks on 'Squad' Trump says he doesn't care if attacks on 'Squad' hurt him politically MORE (D-N.Y.) on Friday criticized a "middle ground" climate plan reportedly in the works from former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE's presidential campaign, calling it a "dealbreaker" for the party's progressives.

Biden has not yet publicly released a proposal to combat climate change and aides have pushed back following a Reuters report about a "middle ground" proposal, arguing that his forthcoming plan was being mischaracterized.

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But several 2020 presidential rivals and environmental groups have latched onto the story and blasted his reported plans, with Ocasio-Cortez joining those voices on Friday afternoon.

"This is a dealbreaker. There is no 'middle ground' w/ climate denial & delay," tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman lawmaker who has championed the Democrats' more liberal Green New Deal legislation.

"Blaming 'blue collar' Americans as the main opponents to bold climate policy is gas lobbyist 101," she continued. "We’re not going to solve the climate crisis w/ this lack of leadership. Our kids’ lives are at stake."

Biden's campaign pushed back earlier in the day after Reuters reported that the former vice president was working on an alternative climate policy to Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal.

The outlet reported that Biden's plan would focus on technology and regulations that limit emissions from the burning of fossil fuels rather than fully transitioning America's energy grid toward renewable energy sources.

Biden himself appeared to address the report on Twitter, promising more details about the plan in the coming days.

"I’m proud to have been one of the first to introduce climate change legislation. What I fought for in 1986 is more important than ever — climate change is an existential threat. Now. Today," he wrote.

"We need policies that reflect this urgency. I'll have more specifics on how America can lead on climate in the coming weeks," Biden added.

The vice president "knows how high the stakes are," a spokesman for his campaign argued in response to Reuters's report and criticism from progressives on Friday.

"As president, Biden would enact a bold policy to tackle climate change in a meaningful and lasting way, and will be discussing the specifics of that plan in the near future," Biden spokesman T.J. Ducklo added. "Any assertions otherwise are not accurate."

His campaign's communications director, Bill Russo, added to the denials by tweeting a post that read simply: "Reuters got it wrong."

Ocasio-Cortez has previously come out against other climate proposals offered by members of her party that in her view either insufficiently deal with carbon emissions or put off the deadline for reaching zero carbon emissions.

In April, she criticized a plan offered by former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally MORE (D-Texas), who is also running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“Personally, I think we need to have more aggressive timelines than that to be honest,” the congresswoman told The Hill at the time, referring to his deadline for reaching net-zero emissions being set at 2050.

“I think that the science and the IPCC [report] shows exactly what we need, and our legislation needs to be in line with that,” she added, referring to a climate assessment published by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.