President Donald Trump told supporters at a rally that Democratic candidate Joe Biden planned to ban all fracking, taking aim at his opponent's energy plans that would affect one of the largest industries in the United States.
The rally took place in Eerie, Pennsylvania, which is a large producer of natural gas thanks precisely to fracking.
"If Biden is elected, he'll wipe out your energy industry," Trump said. "Only by voting for me, can you save your fracking and Pennsylvania," he added, as quoted by the Financial Times.
The president then went on to show the rally a video compilation of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris talking about fracking.
"This is an original Donald Trump Broadway play," Trump told his supporters, as quoted by The Hill. "First time I have ever pulled it out. I had it done specifically for the people of Erie because you guys like energy. You like being energy independent."
One of the clips in the video showed Biden during a 2019 primaries debate when he was asked whether oil, gas, and coal would continue to be part of the U.S. energy mix if he became president.
"No, we would—we would work it out. We would make sure it's eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either—any fossil fuel," the Democratic candidate said.
Despite Biden's promise to bring about the end of oil and gas in the United States, the above quote does not equate to a promise to ban fracking. In fact, Biden has been reluctant to undertake such a pledge. Instead, he has said he would ban new drilling for oil and gas on federal land. Currently, 8 percent of oil production and 9 percent of natural gas output come from wells on federal land, according to the Wall Street Journal. Related: Prepare For More U.S. Shale Mergers And Acquisitions
The video showed that Kamala Harris, on the other hand, was more clear cut in her belief that fracking should be banned. "There's no question I'm in favor of banning fracking," Harris said on the campaign trail when she was still running for president, adding that she would seek to ban fracking on "Day One" on public lands.
Just a few days ago, however, Biden assured Pennsylvania voters in Philadelphia that he would not ban fracking. Local media reported that Biden claimed he did not want to ban the practice but noted that methane emissions needed to be kept under control.
Yet, if Biden wins the election, he won't need to ban anything to eliminate fossil fuels from the energy mix, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Instead, legislation requiring more investments in renewable energy would do the job by eventually squeezing oil and gas from the energy mix.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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