Video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Told to 'Educate Yourself' Goes Viral

A video of Republican congressman Jeff Duncan telling Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to "educate yourself" has gone viral on social media, where it has collected over 3.2 million views.

Duncan made the remark during a debate on the House floor over a bill asking the federal government "to approve a plan to increase drilling on federal lands and waters prior to any nonemergency drawdown" from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve [SPR] in non-emergency cases, as reported by Roll Call. The bill would require an increase in the percentage of public lands and offshore waters leased to match any drawdown from the SPR.

Ocasio-Cortez proposed an amendment to the bill, introduced by House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Thursday, arguing that leasing more land to fossil fuel companies would "guarantee that we will accelerate the devastating impact of climate change" and bring more profits to companies while not guaranteeing a drop in gas prices.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attends a news conference with Democratic lawmakers about the Biden administration's border politics, outside the U.S. Capitol on January 26, 2023 in Washington, DC. A video of Ocasio-Cortez being told "educate yourself" has gone viral on social media. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Duncan argued against Ocasio-Cortez point, telling her to "educate" herself about how the U.S. lowered its emissions in recent years.

In a C-SPAN clip shared on Twitter by several users—including Ocasio-Cortez herself—, the South Carolina Republican can be heard telling the New York congresswoman: "Go and learn. Go and learn for yourself about this. Educate yourself on how America attained its low emissions. You care about the air quality, you care about climate change. Natural gas is what got America there," he continued.

"Educate yourself on that, then we have a better debate about future resources, future energy production. But this debate tonight is not about any of that."

Ocasio-Cortez's response slammed Duncan for urging her to educate herself.

"I understand in this body it's not the first time that it seems as though the opposing side can't seem to be able to debate the issue and so they must come after my character," the congresswoman said.

"While I cannot control the fact that the other side seems to have made the assumption that I am uneducated, one of the things I can say [...] is while I may not work for Wall Street, that is true. I may not be here with the mission to increase profits for corporations, that is true. My mission here is for the well-being and dignity of our family and our planet's future, for our children's ability to live on this planet. That is what this amendment is about."

She added: "We should all take it upon ourselves on this body to educate ourself on the science of the challenge of climate change that is before us."

Ocasio-Cortez later shared the clip of the exchange with Duncan on Twitter, writing: "Fewer things are more predictable than Republicans having a meltdown when I'm clearing them in debate."

She added: "In case you're curious about why this man is so angry with me, it may be because I introduced an amendment to a GOP bill that would prohibit oil and gas companies who engage in stock buybacks from leasing federal lands. Seems as though I hit a nerve!"