Biden on fracking: I won't close it down, but I won't let it continue either

And Joe Biden’s favorite color is plaid. The Democratic nominee has tried to have it both ways during the 2020 campaign on fracking, but last night Biden tried having it both ways at the same time. In his CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper, Biden initially told one questioner that he supporting the continuation of fracking, but Cooper objected to Biden trying to stake out two positions at once.


“Politically, it’s understandable why you might say that,” Cooper observed, but “why should fracking continue at all?”

Here’s the transcript of the entire exchange, in which it was clear that Biden was hoping to get away with not addressing his climate-change position at all:

TOM CALPIN, BUSINESS AGENT FOR IRONWORKS UNION: Good evening Mr. Vice President, Mr. Cooper. With the abundance of natural gas in northeast Pennsylvania. Do you support the continuation of fracking safely and with proper guidelines, of course, and growing the industry (INAUDIBLE) additional jobs to our region?

BIDEN: Yes, I do. I do. In addition to that, we can provide for right now as you know, for thousands of uncapped wells because a lot of companies gone out of business, whether they’re gas or oil facilities, we can put to work right away 250,000 people from iron workers and other disciplines, making union wages. Capping those wells that are leaking methane and their danger to the community.

And so, not only do I continue to support it. Jobs, it’s an important for this community. It’s important for Pennsylvania, and Ohio and other states. It’s an important, it’s an important business. And it’s a lot of wages are involved in that. But beyond that, beyond that, we can also get people working now, capping the wells that are left uncapped right now across this region and all the way there’s hundreds of thousands of them all across the nation. And that put a lot of people to work.

COOPER: Let me just follow up on that. You said you won’t ban fracking but did you wanted to gradually move away from it ultimately. It sounds like to some of you’re trying to have it both ways that that I mean, politically, it’s understandable why you might say that but it — if fracking contributes to climate change, and climate change is an existential threat. Why should it fracking continue at all?

BIDEN: Well, fracking has to continue because we have transition, we’re going to get to net zero emissions by 2050. And we’ll get to net zero power admissions by 2035. But there’s no rationale to eliminate right now fracking, number one. Number two, those jobs that are out there, whether it’s a IBW (ph) worker, or whether it’s an iron worker, or a steel worker. What I’m proposing is that, you know, when Trump thinks about global warming, he thinks hoax. When I hear global warming, I think jobs. What I’m going to make sure we do is we could transition in a way for example. We’re going to build 500 — the reason why all these unions have endorsed me is that they know my position, that I’m going to make sure that we have 500,000 charging stations in our highways so we can all the electric car market, creating a million jobs and we can lead the world. And in Detroit, we can lead the world and making sure we move to electric vehicles

As president of United States, I’ll have one of the largest fleets — we spent $600 billion a year federal money for federal contracts, I got to make sure they’re all those contracts are all products made in America, including the chain that provides for every one of those products. I’m going to do away with the tax break that the President gave people who send jobs abroad, to make sure that if you in fact, have a contract, if you with taxpayers my money, you must use American products, you must buy American products, and you must not be in a position where you’re exporting. We have 25 — we have over 50% more people moving jobs overseas as a consequence of these contracts, so it’s all backwards. And this is going to provide a lot of good paying jobs for people in the trades.


In short, Biden plans to eliminate fracking. He just doesn’t want to say that in the general election, especially not while in Pennsylvania. His plans for eliminating fracking include “transitioning” massive numbers of workers who will lose their jobs by having them build 500,000 charging stations for electric cars on the highways. That’s not quite the same as Hillary Clinton’s “learn to code” riposte to coal miners, but it’s not that far off from it either.

And oh, by the way, where will all that electricity originate once we shut down fracking and drilling in the US? Ask California about the reliability of alternative energy, only make sure to ask in the hours when rolling blackouts aren’t sweeping the state. As for moving jobs overseas, most of the union workers in the audience probably blame that on NAFTA, China’s admission to WTO, and globalization — all policies that Biden supported and Trump opposed. If he wants to run on an “America First” platform, Biden will find it a little crowded.

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024