Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has suggested that the United States would have “blood on our hands” if legislation is not passed to tackle climate change.
Her comments came during a House Oversight Committee hearing Tuesday with John Kerry, the former Secretary of State, and Chuck Hagel, the former Secretary of Defense, where the subject of the role of global warming and national security was discussed.
Ocasio-Cortez first asked Hagel: “Do you think that neglecting to address these threats is – could contribute to an American – the loss of American life?”
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When he responded in the affirmative, she asked: “And do you think that denial or even delaying in that action could cost us American lives?”
When he again replied “yes,” she asked Kerry: “Do you think that appointing a federal panel that questions 26 years of established climate science (could) be responsible for the loss of American life?”
When Kerry said: “It could be,” she again followed up: “So I think what we have laid out here is a very clear moral problem and in terms of leadership, if we fail to act or even if we delay in acting, we will have blood on our hands? I don’t know if you’re allowed to agree with that Secretary Kerry or Secretary Hagel, but would you agree with that assessment?”
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Kerry replied: “As long as we do nothing, congresswoman, we are complicit in our acts of omission and commission of what we’re doing to choose for our energy, etc. And we’re going to contribute to people dying, we’re going to contribute to trillions of dollars of damage to property and we will change the face of life on this planet.”
During the hearing, Kerry also praised Ocasio-Cortez for offering “more leadership in one day or one week than President Trump has in his lifetime” on climate change.
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Ocasio-Cortez, who championed the Green New Deal, responded on Twitter, saying she was “honored and humbled” by the climate.