With only days remaining until Americans head to the polls in arguably the most consequential election in a generation, politicians are scrambling to highlight their opponents flaws, hoping to push the needle in their favor. One such subject was handed to Donald Trump on a platter by Joe Biden during the final presidential debate, with Biden delivering a two-course warning to Americans across the country. The first involved Biden’s rejection of the claim that he ever opposed fracking, saying, “I have never said I oppose fracking.” When fact-checked by Trump in real time, Biden requested that Trump “play the tape.” Trump’s campaign obliged the next day.
— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) October 23, 2020
The second part provided conservatives with yet another opportunity to “pounce,” with Joe Biden saying that he will “transition from the oil industry” because “the oil industry pollutes, significantly.”
Joe Biden says he will "transition from the oil industry" pic.twitter.com/0TgtYhhLEZ
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 23, 2020
Biden has a lengthy record of making false claims and has spent his decades-long political career flip-flopping on supposedly fundamental positions. The subject of fossil fuels, and specifically fracking, is no different. Here is a recent timeline of Biden’s multiple and contradictory statements regarding fracking and fossil fuels.
I guarantee you, we are going to end fossil fuel. (September 2019)
During a campaign event, Biden took the hand of a young woman, called her “kiddo,” and said “I want you to look at my eyes. I guarantee you, I guarantee you. We’re going to end fossil fuel.”
Joe Biden said, “look into my eyes, I guarantee you… we’re going to end fossil fuel.”
That includes Pennsylvania fracking jobs.
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 20, 2020
Sacrifice growth for a greener economy? Yes. (December 2019)
During a Democratic presidential primary debate, moderator Tim Alberta posed the following question: “Three consecutive American presidents have enjoyed stints of explosive economic growth due to a boom in oil and natural gas production. As president, would you be willing to sacrifice some of that growth, even knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in the interest of transitioning to that greener economy?”
In response, Biden said “The answer is yes. The answer is yes.”
Stopping fracking? Yes. (January 2020)
Speaking with a New Hampshire voter, Biden agreed to stopping both fracking and pipeline infrastructure.
Voter: “But like, what about, say, stopping fracking?”
Voter: “And stopping pipeline infrastructure?”
We are going to get rid of fossil fuels. (February 2020)
During a rally, Biden told a cheering audience that “we are going to get rid of fossil fuels.” Responding to the reaction of protestors, Biden then followed up with:
“That’s okay, these guys are okay, they want to do the same thing that I want to do, they want to phase out fossil fuels and we’re going to phase out fossil fuels.”
No new fracking. (March 2020)
During a Democratic primary debate in March, Biden and Bernie Sanders sparred on the subject of climate change and the fossil fuel industry, with Biden saying, “no more, no new fracking.”
JOE BIDEN JUST LIED ABOUT HIS PAST COMMENTS ABOUT BANNING FRACKING
WE HAVE THE TAPE
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 23, 2020
Following a familiar pattern, Biden’s campaign “later clarified that Biden was re-stating his existing platform about policy on federal lands, not endorsing Sanders’ call for a nationwide ban.”
No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period. (March 2020)
During that same primary debate, Biden stated, “No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period.”
We would make sure it’s eliminated. (July 2020)
During another Democratic primary debate, CNN’s Dana Bash asked “Would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?” Biden responded with “No, we would we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated, and no more subsidies for either one of those.”
Joe Biden is in coal country.
Biden said he'd eliminate fracking and coal.
CNN: “Would there be any place for fossil fuels including coal and fracking in a Biden admin?”
Biden: “No, we would we would work it out. We would make sure it's eliminated.”pic.twitter.com/thNIuke7cu
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 24, 2020
I am not banning fracking. (August 2020)
Speaking in Pittsburgh, Biden said “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 discusses his energy plan: "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." https://t.co/LBywpukq9G pic.twitter.com/B5QXkBoQbt
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 31, 2020
I’m not eliminating fracking. (October 2020)
Speaking to a handful of journalists, Biden said “I’m not shutting down oil fields. I’m not eliminating fracking.”
Joe Biden: "I'm not shutting down oil fields. I'm not eliminating fracking." pic.twitter.com/rh7ZZBeZ2Z
— The Hill (@thehill) October 27, 2020
In the past year alone, Biden has held two antithetical positions regarding fracking and the fossil fuel industry. What makes matters worse is that his running mate, Kamala Harris, is also equally inconsistent with her language.
I’m in favor of banning fracking. (October 2020)
Speaking at a presidential town hall, Kamala Harris announced that “There’s no question I’m in favor of banning fracking.”
Joe Biden is not going to ban fracking. (October 2020)
After stepping out from her (fossil fuel powered) plane, Kamala Harris defended Biden’s comments, saying “Let’s be really clear about this. Let’s be really clear about this. Joe Biden is not going to ban fracking. He is going to deal with the oil subsidies, but that’s not, you know, the president likes to put everything out of context, but let’s be clear. What Joe was talking about was banning subsidies, but he will not end fracking in America.”
JUST IN: Sen. Kamala Harris responds to questions on Biden energy policy: "Joe Biden is not going to ban fracking." pic.twitter.com/BZu84AZWDq
— The Hill (@thehill) October 23, 2020
We will not ban fracking. (October 2020)
Appearing on The View, Kamala Harris promised that “We will not ban fracking.”
"We will not ban fracking," Sen. Kamala Harris tells @TheView.
"Joe is also committed to understanding that we have to also acknowledge the science in a way that frankly the current president does not, on the COVID issue and on climate." https://t.co/PzNuNTpDM4 pic.twitter.com/EynVGHOGtm
— ABC News (@ABC) October 26, 2020
Of course, none of this blatant disregard for reality would be possible without the aiding and abetting of the mainstream media and their partners in the world of “fact-checking.”
The LA Times
While “fact-checking” the final presidential debate, The LA Times declared that “No, Biden wouldn’t end fracking” in response to Trump’s statement, “He was against fracking. He said it.” The supposed fact-check justified this conclusion by saying that “Biden’s comments about fracking have varied some,” and attempting to retrospectively add context to Biden’s assertions about targeting fracking.
The fact-checking organization also backfilled Biden’s meaning in order to rate Trump’s claim that “Joe Biden confirmed his plan to abolish the entire U.S. oil industry. That means no fracking jobs and no energy for Pennsylvania” as false. Their justification was that “Biden has said repeatedly that he won’t ban fracking,” ignoring the obvious point that Biden has also said repeatedly that we wants to end fossil fuel. When it came to the subject of oil, Politifact wrote “Biden stumbled over his words as he tried to explain his position,” as if an inarticulate presentation of a position allows others to fill in the gaps as needed.
NBC News decided to respond to Trump’s claim that Biden’s position on fracking varies depending on which state he visits.
“Just like he went at it with fracking,” Trump said. If Biden wins, he said, “We’re not gonna have fracking. We’re gonna stop fracking, we’re gonna stop fracking.”
“Then he goes to Pennsylvania after he gets the nomination, and he got very lucky to get it, and he goes to Pennsylvania, and he says, ‘Oh, we’re gonna have fracking,’” Trump added.
This well-worn attack against Biden is not true, although Biden’s position on the issue is complicated.
NBC News then used the fact that “Biden has repeatedly said he will not ban fracking” as evidence that Biden would not ban fracking.
Taking to Twitter, Trump summarized Biden’s monumental statements regarding fossil fuel as follows.
Last week, Joe Biden made perhaps the most shocking admission ever uttered in the history of presidential debates. On live television, Joe Biden confirmed his plan to ABOLISH the entire U.S. Oil Industry—that means NO fracking, NO jobs, and NO energy for Pennsylvania Families!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2020
The Democrats and the mainstream media are looking Americans dead in the face and asking them not to believe their own eyes and ears. Biden has expressed a clear desire to end both fracking and fossil fuel more broadly, as has his running mate Kamala Harris. The fact that his campaign has rushed to do damage control and parrot Biden’s “official” position is irrelevant.
Biden opposes fossil fuels, except when he doesn’t.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.