Socialist student group prods Beto during William and Mary visit

Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a Democrat 2020 presidential candidate, visited the College of William and Mary Tuesday for a meet and greet.

The college’s Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter used the appearance to criticize O’Rourke’s stance on fossil fuels and his choice to vote with Republicans to revoke a ban on the export of fossil fuels. The university-recognized student group claimed in its tweet that there are only “11 years left to fix the environment.”

“Nice seeing Robert O’Rourke coming to campus today,” the group tweeted. “Will he explain why he voted with the GOP to protect offshore drilling and revoke the ban on fossil fuel exports when we have 11 years left to fix the environment? Stay tuned.”

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But in March, O’Rourke came out in support of the “Green New Deal,” which aims to cut all fossil fuels. 

At the time, O’Rourke said, “not to be dramatic, but literally, the future of the world depends on us right now here where we are.” The Texas Democrat further noted that “we have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis,” according to Real Clear Politics.

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Despite his support for the Green New Deal, which would ban fossil fuels, O’Rourke has voted twice with Republicans to rescind bans on fossil fuel oil exports and voted against a Democrat bill to ban drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  According to OpenSecrets, O’Rourke received the second highest amount of campaign donations from oil and gas interests groups in 2018, totaling $546,344

O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, lost a Senate run to Ted Cruz in 2018 and shortly afterward announced his run for president in 2020. 

According to the Virginia Gazette newspaper, O’Rourke’s visit to William and Mary was part of a multi-city campaign tour throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia as he battles more than a dozen other candidates for the Democrat nomination for president. 

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