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Rick Perry open to talking to Ocasio-Cortez about Green New Deal

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry, an aggressive champion for oil and gas, said he’s “absolutely” willing to have a “thoughtful and polite” conversation about the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“I think having a conversation about the Green New Deal is a good thing — and to do it in a thoughtful and a polite and a respectful way,” Perry said of the progressive proposal during a panel discussion on Wednesday.

The former Texas governor said it would be “wise” for conservatives to engage in a discussion about the Democratic plan to decarbonize the economy and transition away from fossil fuels.

The Green New Deal is essentially a road map for future legislation, which includes calls for both a transition to 100% renewable energy and the implementation of ambitious social programs, including a federal jobs guarantee.

“Just because someone doesn’t agree with what I believe in, or I don’t agree with their take, doesn’t mean we don’t need to continue to have a conversation,” Perry said, according to CNBC. “I think it’s wise to have those.”

Perry’s comments stand in contrast to those of other prominent Republicans. President Donald Trump has slammed the Green New Deal as a “socialist nightmare.”

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled a Green New Deal that will force 2020 Democrats to take an aggressive stance on climate change

“No planes. No energy. When the wind stops blowing that’s the end of your electric,” Trump said during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month. “Darling, is the wind blowing today? I’d like to watch television, darling.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced last month that he plans to bring the resolution to vote on the Senate floor in an attempt to force moderate Democrats into a corner.

A recent poll of Iowa voters found 65% support for the Green New Deal. And an INSIDER poll last month found that more than 80% of Americans support nearly all of the proposals in in the Green New Deal, which includes universal healthcare and housing.

“I don’t think that the representative should be castigated and pushed aside just on the face of her comments relative to that she wants to live in a place where there’s clean air and clean water. So do I,” he went on.

Perry, who has flown largely under the radar in Washington, was sharply critical of Trump during the 2016 election, calling his candidacy “a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense” and “a cancer on conservatism.”

But he aligns with Trump on energy-related issues, calling himself a “skeptic” on global warming, and slamming opposition to the fossil fuel industry.

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