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Texas congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros, who is endorsed by leftist Green New Deal Democrats like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., previously took campaign donations from oil and gas executives despite campaign pledge not to take any fossil fuel money, Fox News has learned.
Cisneros, an immigration attorney and the daughter of Mexican immigrants who is seeking to represent Texas’ 28th Congressional District, is set to face off against Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, in a Democratic primary runoff election next month.
In 2019, Cisneros made a “no fossil fuel” pledge but shortly after received donations from individuals linked to oil and gas companies.
“I proudly took the @sunrisemvmt No Fossil Fuel & #GreenNewDeal pledge last night in San Antonio,” Cisneros wrote in a 2019 tweet. “The people of #TX28 want the good paying jobs that the GND will create.”
The Sunrise Movement, a 501(c)4 organization founded in 2017 with a mission to pass the Green New Deal, has endorsed Cisneros and gave her campaign $2,000 through its PAC. The pledge, according to the Green Party’s website, reads: “I will not take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”
“Taking the pledge means that a candidate’s campaign will adopt a policy to not knowingly accept any contributions over $200 from the PACs, executives, or front groups of fossil fuel companies — companies whose primary business is the extraction, processing, distribution, or sale of oil, gas, or coal,” the Sunrise Movement explained, according to the Green Party. “We will provide a list of these companies upon request.”
Despite her pledge, Cisneros accepted in February and March 2020 several small contributions from two Chevron managers, Abbai Haregot and Anthony Atto, as well as a $1,000 donation from offshore oil and gas consultant named Robert Byrd, according to campaign finance records.
DEMS CUELLAR, CISNEROS HEAD TO RUNOFF IN TEXAS US HOUSE PRIMARY
During a 2020 interview with Mother Jones magazine, Cisneros claimed that Cuellar, who has served in Congress since 2005, created a “dependence” on border security jobs while dismissing investments in other areas. Asked about other positions border patrol officers could hold if she were elected, Cisneros said, “If people like the fieldwork and being out there, I think it would probably involve something along the lines of environmental regulation of the river.”
Cisneros, responding to a November 2019 questionnaire from 350action.org, also called for agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to be dismantled.
“We need to create a humane border policy, not separating children and families in for-profit prisons and detention centers,” she said. “We need to refocus resources in ICE and Border Patrol, so they don’t violate human and civil rights through proper investigation and accountability. We can split ICE in half and re-assign enforcement functions within to other agencies, including the Department of Justice.”
At the time, Cisneros said she would like to “refocus CBP to focus on drug and human trafficking, rather than law enforcement activities in the interior of the United States that should be left to the police.”
Cisneros also said in 2019 that she supports a “complete ban” on fracking and a near-total elimination of drilling in America, as well as the restoration of a ban on oil exports. Fracking is a process that involves injecting water into shale rock at high pressure to extract natural gas.
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“I am a strong supporter of the ‘Keep It in the Ground’ campaign,” Cisneros said in the 350action.org questionnaire. “I support a complete ban on fracking as well as an immediate moratorium [on] all new leases for fossil fuel development on federal lands, including offshore. I also support ending all existing non-producing leases and restoring the ban on oil exports.”
Cisneros will go up against Cuellar in a primary runoff election on May 24 after she garnered 46.9% of the vote last month.
Fox News did not receive a response from Cisneros’ campaign.