J.D. Prose, USA TODAY Network – PA State Capitol Bureau
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden again said he does not want to ban fracking during an ABC town hall Thursday night, adding, though, that “it has to be managed very, very well.”
Biden was responding to a question from Pittsburgh resident Michele Ellison, identified as a Republican who has voted for Democrats, who asked him about fracking and said that the method for drilling for natural gas has sickened residents and killed wildlife in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Biden, who came to Pittsburgh in late August and said he did not want to ban fracking, reiterated that stance, but said methane emissions and water pollution must be controlled. He then transitioned to arguing that “the future rests in renewable energy,” such as wind and solar.
While President Donald Trump has attacked Biden for wanting to ban fracking, Biden has said his ban would be for drilling on federal land, which would have no impact on Pennsylvania’s industry.
Also, Biden suggested that thousands of people in the natural gas industry could be put to work capping uncapped wells and earning “a good salary.” There could also be nearly 1 million jobs created in weatherizing 4 million buildings and 2 million homes, he said.
Biden said the country can meet the goal of having zero net carbon emissions from creating energy by 2035, but said the standard of the Green New Deal to get the country to all renewables by 2030 is not doable.
“You can’t get there,” Biden said.