DETROIT, Michigan — Former vice preisdent Joe Biden declared at the second Democrat debate in Detroit on Wednesday evening that he would fight climate change by eliminating coal, fossil fuels, and fracking.
Biden was responding to criticism from Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state, who said — echoing earlier criticism of Biden by “Green New Deal” author Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — that the former vice president was only proposing “middle ground solutions” to an urgent crisis.
CNN moderator Dana Bash then asked Biden to clarify where he stood on fossil fuels, and the following exchange ensued:
Dana Bash: thank you, vice president. just to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels including coal and fracking in a biden administration?
Joe Biden: No. We would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated, and no more subsidies for either one of those, any fossil fuel.
On the campaign trail in 2008, then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) told voters in West Virginia in 2008 that he and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) supported “clean coal.” Biden’s appeal to working-class voters in coal-heavy states like his native Pennsylvania is one of the main arguments for his candidacy.
“Fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing, is a process that has allowed the U.S. to harness new shale oil and natural gas resources, and has contributed to the unique achievement of growing the economy while lowering carbon dioxide emissions over the past several years. It is, however, strenuously opposed by left-wing environmentalists.
Biden’s climate change policy, available at his campaign website, does not include coal as a resource, but rather calls for helping communities that currently depend on the coal industry to make the transition to other jobs.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.