by Susan Ferrechio
On Feb. 5, the congressional office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a new blog entry under “energy issues” detailing her “Green New Deal” proposal and answering “frequently asked questions.”
The page, announcing an 8:30 a.m. launch on Feb. 7, is now gone, and a top adviser suggested Friday it was actually authored and distributed by the GOP.
By the afternoon of Feb. 7, Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., removed the document from her website without explanation but following backlash and even ridicule over the radical plans outlined within it, including a call to “eliminate emissions from cows or air travel” — which would functionally ban the latter — and to provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”
The document vanished just hours after Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., formally unveiled a “Green New Deal” resolution that has so far attracted 67 Democratic co-sponsors in the House. It’s a nonbinding measure that is less detailed than the now-deleted FAQ document but calls for a complete and speedy overhaul of the nation’s energy, transportation, and farming sectors in order to eliminate carbon emissions in the coming decades.
The communications staff has so far not responded to an inquiry about the now-missing blog post.
But on Saturday morning, chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti tweeted that the FAQ page was indeed posted by the Ocasio-Cortez staff but was done so in error. He called the page “an early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake (idea was to wait for launch, monitor q’s, and rewrite that FAQ before publishing).”
Ocasio-Cortez later Saturday admitted the same, tweeting at a Washington Post reporter, “There was also a draft version that got uploaded + taken down. There’s also draft versions floating out there.”
[Related: Ocasio-Cortez unveils her ‘Green New Deal’]
A policy adviser to Ocasio-Cortez, though, told Fox News Friday night that the claims were some kind of hoax perpetuated by Republicans.
Robert Hockett, professor of law and finance at Cornell University, appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” called the contents of the now-missing blog post “some kind of document that somebody other than us has been circulating.”
Hockett said Ocasio-Cortez does not endorse the idea of paying people “unwilling to work” and does not want to ban airplane travel.
He said Ocasio-Cortez “tweeted it out to laugh at it.”
He added, “It seems apparently some Republicans have put it out there.”
Hockett may have been referring to the Ocasio-Cortez Friday tweet of a doctored version of the blog post by frequent tweeter and humorist David Burge and others that called for recycling urine to conserve water.
“When your #GreenNewDeal legislation is so strong that the GOP has to resort to circulating false versions, but the real one nets 70 House cosponsors on Day 1 and all Dem presidential candidates sign on anyway,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez again referred to “doctored versions” in her Saturday tweet, though she did not address why the original post on her website, which initially said “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast” and was apparently later updated to instead include the emissions language, was edited and removed.
Chakrabarti tweeted a link Saturday to the green economy group New Consensus, which has authored an “explainer” of the Green New deal. “Don’t worry,” New Consensus tweeted. “Policy deets are coming.”
As for the blog post, it has not been restored to her congressional website as of Saturday morning but is available via archive and its text saved online.
There are no new entries under the site’s “Energy Issues” section, just a picture of an oil rig, where the post once appeared. The page at the original web address for the post says “Page Not Found.”