In response to claims from President Donald Trump that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would ban fracking, the former vice president told voters in the swing state of Pennsylvania on Monday that he would not outlaw the practice—despite polling that shows the American public increasingly favors aggressive actions left out of Biden’s campaign proposals and the official party platform.
“I am not banning fracking,” Biden told a crowd. “Let me say that again. I am not banning fracking. No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
During a Democratic primary debate in March with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who vocally supports a nationwide fracking ban and has introduced legislation in the Senate that would halt the practice—Biden said there would be “no new fracking” if he was elected, but his campaign later clarified that this would not constitute a full-fledged ban.
Polling continues to show American voters are in fact in favor of more ambitious climate proposals including the Green New Deal.
Let’s talk about the politics of fracking.— Jamie Henn (@jamieclimate) August 31, 2020
The press has bought into (arguably created?) this narrative that if Dems say anything about regulating or banning fracking, it will kill them in places like PA.
New polling out today & past experience shows otherwise.
A new survey from Climate Power 2020, the League of Conservation Voters, and Global Strategy Group last week suggested voter opinion in Pennsylvania—a state with large-scale fracking operations—regarding climate policy “boosts Joe Biden.”
“The research shows that not only are Pennsylvania voters supportive of climate action and additional regulations on hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’), engaging in a debate around fracking and climate clearly helps Joe Biden, strengthening his favorability rating and increasing his lead over President Donald Trump in the state,” survey authors wrote, in a memo released August 27.
Survey results indicated 83% of respondents believe climate change is a serious problem, and 73% said they support the government “taking bold action to combat climate change.” But with Biden’s noncommittal attitude toward fracking in particular, and with the Democratic Party’s refusal to commit to end fossil fuel subsidies, progressives and activists remain unconvinced.
Joe Biden’s continued public opposition to a fracking ban is basically an assurance to industry that he’ll continue the Obama-era transition to a natural gas energy economy in the immediate while pledging a greener future.— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) August 31, 2020
Seems certain we’re going to miss our climate deadline..
Biden’s speech today was yet again trying to out-Trump Trump.— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) August 31, 2020
Biden said repeatedly he’s not against fracking, he supports the police, he won’t be pressured by socialists. If Biden loses, just remember it was because he tried to be Donald Trump rather than being progressive.
Journalist Dave Levitan suggested an alternative to Biden’s Pennsylvania promise: “Another idea would be to ban fracking,” he tweeted.