The final presidential debate Thursday was fraught with heated discussion, including when President Donald Trump vigorously challenged Joe Biden on his stance regarding fracking. Biden reacted by demanding the president share proof that he is against fracking, so Trump did just that.
"We're going to have the greatest economy in the world, but if you want to kill the economy, get rid of your oil industry you want," President Trump said. Then he asked Biden, "And what about fracking?"
"I never said I oppose fracking," Biden responded.
Trump reacted by saying, "You said it on tape."
Biden responded, "Show the tape, put it on your website."
"I'll put it on," Trump declared.
"Put it on the website," Biden said. "The fact of the matter is he's flat lying."
Moderator Kristen Welker asked Biden, "Would you rule out about banning fracking?"
"I do rule out banning fracking because the answer we need, we need other industries to transition, to get to ultimately a complete zero emissions by 2025," Biden answered. "What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking, capture the emissions from gas. We can do that and we can do that by investing money in doing it, but it's a transition to that."
By the time Thursday night's presidential debate had ended, the Trump campaign released a video compilation of Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) making remarks opposing fracking. By Friday morning, the video had over 10 million views and over 325,000 Likes.
Here you go @JoeBiden! https://t.co/UBqPJT85Pt— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1603420342.0
The video starts out with a clip from the Democratic primary debate in July, where CNN anchor Dana Bash asks Biden if there would be "any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking" in his administration.
"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," Biden stated.
Other video clips show Biden saying, "We're going to end fossil fuels" and "I'd gradually move away from fracking,"
Harris is seen on video saying, "And, I think it's critically important on day one that we end any fossil fuel leases on public lands." The video ends with Harris saying, "There's no question that I'm in favor of banning fracking."
The Trump campaign is highlighting Biden's extremely wobbly response on the fracking issue because it could influence voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Oklahoma — states that depend on oil and natural gas from fracking.
President Trump played the video on Tuesday during his campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. Vice President Mike Pence is also playing the fracking video on the campaign trail, according to The Hill.
CNN did a fact check on Biden's history of fracking comments and admitted: "Biden falsely claims he never opposed fracking."
Biden also said he was against "new fracking" in a Democratic primary debate in March when challenged by his opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, on the issue of climate change. His campaign clarified to reporters that same evening that Biden was reiterating his plan to ban oil and gas permits on public land, not a complete ban on new fracking, which a president cannot do.
On "Anderson Cooper 360°," CNN's fact-checker Daniel Dale said it was wrong for Biden to say he never opposed fracking.
"In this case, Trump is correct, Biden did make anti-fracking comments in 2019 and 2020, and Trump was not lying," Dale told Anderson Cooper.
Dale mentioned that the official Biden campaign stance is not for banning fracking, but has proposed banning new gas and oil permits on federal land, but Biden's comments against fracking complicates the situation.
On the Biden campaign website, it calls for "ending subsidies for fossil fuels" in "his first year and redirecting these resources to the historic investment in clean energy infrastructure."
The Biden campaign is "committed to achieving a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050," meaning a complete ban of fossil fuels.
CNN fact checks Joe Biden on fracking: “Trump is correct...it's just false for Biden to say that he never said he o… https://t.co/0hivpiX7FB— Steve Guest (@Steve Guest) 1603425430.0
Despite several Democrats promising to ban fracking, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris, the president can not issue an outright ban on fracking across the United States.
Hydraulic fracturing is a drilling technique to release oil and natural gas from deep underground by injecting fluid at high pressure.