Ocasio-Cortez Deletes Praise of Oil Price Crash: ‘You Absolutely Love to See It’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., winks in response to an answer of her question of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday deleted a message in which she appeared to cheer a historic drop in oil prices as an opportunity to invest in “green infrastructure to save our planet.”

Ocasio-Cortez wrote on social media in response to news about oil prices falling to “negative values.”

“You absolutely love to see it,” the freshman congresswoman said in response. “This along with record low interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet.”

The lawmaker ended her tweet with “*cough*,” implying that the price crash vindicated her previous environmental activism.

Moments later, Ocasio-Cortez removed the post and replaced it with a more somber tone, arguing it was a “snapshot” of a “turning point” for the climate change movement.

“Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it‘s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy,” the New York Democrat wrote. “A key opportunity.”

Several conservative reporters critized Ocasio-Cortez’s message and shared screenshots of it around social media.

“After deleting that tweet, I would love to see Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who loves to remind people she has an econ degree, explain contango and oil contracts to the rest of us who don’t see the logic in what she’s suggesting,” asked RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway.

Oil futures plunged below zero on Monday, the latest never-before-seen number to come out of the economic coma caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Stocks and Treasury yields also dropped on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 down 1.8%, but the market’s most dramatic action by far was in oil, where the cost to have a barrel of U.S. crude delivered in May plummeted to negative $37.63. It was at roughly $60 at the start of the year.

Traders are still paying $20.43 for a barrel of U.S. oil to be delivered in June, which analysts consider to be closer to the “true” price of oil. Crude to be delivered next month, meanwhile, is running up against a stark problem: traders are running out of places to keep it, with storage tanks close to full amid a collapse in demand as factories, automobiles and airplanes sit idled around the world.

Tanks at a key energy hub in Oklahoma could hit their limits within three weeks, according to Chris Midgley, head of analytics at S&P Global Platts. Because of that, traders are willing to pay others to take that oil for delivery in May off their hands, so long as they also take the burden of figuring out where to keep it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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