Biden says he’s not banning fracking months after promising to stop all new fracking projects

Chris White, DCNF

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania that he has no intention of “banning fracking.”

“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,” the former vice president said. Biden made the comments in a state largely dependent on natural gas development, and more than four months after saying at a Democratic debate in March that he will be ending new fracking projects.

Biden promised during CNN’s Democratic debate in Washington, D.C. to stop new fracking projects after his then-presidential rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, grilled the former vice president for not being tough enough on the oil industry.

Biden also suggested that he can transition the country away from fossil fuel-powered transportation and toward “high speed rail, taking millions of automobiles off the road. Making sure we move in a direction where no more drilling on federal lands [sic].” He said during a Delaware campaign speech in July that he will spend $2 trillion to create jobs while increasing green energy.

Biden plans to have an “emissions-free power sector” by 2035.

Fracking technology helps energy producers extract natural gas out of places like the Permian Basin in Texas, and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. The natural energy sector employs more than 106,000 in Pennsylvania, while indirectly supporting another 216,000 jobs in the state, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute.

The U.S. became the world’s largest producer of fracked natural gas in 2012, surpassing Russia despite former President Barack Obama’s decision in 2015 to place a moratorium on such production on public lands. It also passed coal as the country’s leading source of electricity in July 2017.

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