At the hearing, Higgins was the subject of a dispute with clean energy advocate Raya Salter.
Salter is an attorney, consultant, and adjunct professor at Cardoza Law School. According to her website biography.
Ocasio-Cortez denounced Higgins when it was his turn to speak.
“In the four years I have been on this committee, I have never seen a member of Congress, Republican or Democrat, disrespect a witness. I never saw you there.” told Salter at the hearing.
“Frankly, men who treat women that way in public are afraid of how they treat women in private. We can get better than this. No need to yell.” .”
Higgins and Salter got into an altercation during interrogation and talked to each other when Higgins asked her how she would deal with petrochemicals if fossil fuels were phased out.
Salter replied that he would ask lawmakers to “search their hearts” about the impact of the fossil fuel industry on blacks and poor people in Louisiana, and the conversation was heated.
“Lady, do you know what you got? There was a lot of noise, but no answer,” said Higgins.
Salter accused Higgins of being “owned” by the fossil fuel industry.
The committee was meeting to consider profits and climate commitments from major oil companies such as Exxon and Shell in the context of the ongoing climate crisis.
Salter is the Founder and Executive Director of the Energy Justice Law and Policy Center.
“Do you care about the earth, madam? For example, are there any real ecological concerns? I’m an environmentalist.I love my planet and its people and the creatures there.You?” Higgins asked Salter.
Ocasio-Cortez said he wanted to apologize to Salter for how Higgins treated her, saying, “People don’t deserve to see that.”
Mr. Salter interjected his thanks to the New York State House of Representatives. I was.
“Okay, let’s get them today,” Ocasio-Cortez retorted sarcastically.
In a statement to Hill, Higgins said he would not let “left-wing activists” overrun him.
“If radicals show up before my committee with an anti-American shit-speaking attitude, they can expect to be dealt with. Left-wing activists may trample other elected officials, but they’re not trampling me,” Higgins said.