Biden Says He Will Not Ban Fracking

PITTSBURGH—Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Monday he would not ban hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of drilling for crude oil and natural gas, if elected and called Republican assertions that he supports such a ban a lie.

The comment added a level of nuance to Bidens energy platform, which includes an ambitious timeline for transitioning the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels and an end to new oil and gas drilling leasing on federal lands to reduce CO2 emissions.

“I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again. I am not banning fracking, no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me,” Biden said during a speech in western Pennsylvania, home to one of the worlds largest natural gas deposits.

Pennsylvania is a battleground state that could play a decisive role in the Nov. 3 election between Biden and Trump, the Republican president.

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Environmental activists say fracking can pollute underground aquifers, an assertion the industry says is overblown. The drilling technology has seen a surge in domestic oil and gas production, upsetting groups concerned about climate change but trumpeted by others as a win for U.S. energy security, reducing reliance on oil from the Middle East.

The western Pennsylvania region, once a Democratic stronghold, has become much more Republican in recent years due partly to Democratic plans to phase out fossil-fuel energy.

Bidens comments were a detour in a speech otherwise dominated by the subjects of civil unrest and the coronavirus, a nod to the vulnerability the former vice president faces as the progressive far-left wings of his party become increasingly hostile to drilling.

US-Energy-Gas-Environment A Consol Energy Horizontal Gas Drilling Rig explores the Marcellus Shale outside the town of Waynesburg, Penn., on April 13, 2012. (Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images)
A Consol Energy Horizontal Gas Drilling Read More From Source
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