Anna Paulina Luna: the anti-AOC
The House GOP has a fresh flamethrower against Democratic climate action: Rep. Anna Paulina Luna.
Why she matters: The freshman Floridian has made ethical sourcing and global labor abuses — issues that threaten the energy transition — two of her top priorities.
She’s like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from an alternate right-wing universe: a youthful firebrand acutely concerned about issues Gen Z cares about, but in ways that could undermine climate enthusiasm.
While she's drawn criticism for using vulgar language against Democrats, Luna is trying to make headway on substantive matters.
What they’re saying: Luna sat for an interview with Jael to discuss ideas she’s bringing to the Natural Resources Committee.
She rails against the dirty sides of “clean” energy, including forced labor in China and squalid cobalt mining conditions in Congo. Another target is SHEIN, the popular Chinese fast fashion brand.
Luna says she is planning a trip to Congo and working hand-in-hand with advocates against the repression of Uyghur Muslim communities in China.
Her hope is to get a bipartisan ball rolling for more ethical supply chains.
“You see the photos, but if you have a member of Congress saying, ‘Hey, look, why are corporations buying from an entity that purchases from these operations?’ I think that’s an easy bipartisan win where people see that and say, ‘We’re not doing this shit anymore,’” she said.
Zoom in: Luna says she’s a conservationist who wants to clean up the environment with an America First agenda.
She sits on the Natural Resources water subcommittee and backs a ban on offshore oil drilling off the coasts of Florida and the Carolinas.
But Luna rejects the scientific consensus that human activities are to blame for today's climate change.
She instead says that “throughout time, we’ve had [a] shift in the polarities,” and we're not “going to die in 10 years.”
The big picture: As Luna’s megaphone gets louder, she could offer a new challenge to climate advocates used to dealing with old-fashioned fossil-friendly Republicans.
That’s because her approach focuses on humanitarian concerns that are genuine weak points for renewable energy and EV manufacturers.
Studies show Gen Z cares not only about climate action, but also about ethical consumption.
And while it’s early in her political career, Luna is politically fast on her feet.
She spun a recent critical Washington Post investigation into her background to make her star shine even brighter among Republicans.
Published to Axios.