在 2020 年的总统选举中，民主党候选人乔·拜登的水力压裂政策是彻底禁止它。
On the morning after the Oct. 8, 2020, vice presidential debate between Republican U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Snopes readers asked us to look into one of the debate’s flashpoints — the Democratic ticket’s stance on hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, a controversial method of accessing fossil fuel deposits, typically natural gas.
In particular, readers asked Snopes whether Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was proposing a ban on fracking. At one point in the Oct. 8 debate, which took place at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Pence told Harris:
“I know Joe Biden says otherwise now, as you do, but the both of you repeatedly committed to abolishing fossil fuel and banning of fracking.”
A week earlier, the reelection campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump published an ad that claimed Biden “will end fracking” and contained a brief clip of Biden saying “no more — no new fracking.”
Snopes asked the Biden-Harris campaign whether Harris still held the view she expressed in the September 2019 town hall, but we did not receive a response in time for publication. During the primaries, her climate change platform did not mention fracking, but did propose an end to the extraction of fossil fuels from publicly owned lands.
So it’s true to say that, when asked about it, Harris has in the past articulated unambiguous support for a ban on fracking, but it must also be noted that her official policy platform during the primaries did not call for such a ban, and she has also since signed on to the Biden plan, which proposes an end to new oil and gas drilling on federal lands, but does not call for an outright ban on fracking.
Biden and Harris on Fossil Fuels
During the Oct. 8 vice presidential debate, Pence said:
“I know Joe Biden says otherwise now, as you do, but the both of you repeatedly committed to abolishing fossil fuel and [the] banning of fracking.”
The official Biden-Harris platform proposes to end fossil fuel subsidies, and to encourage a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies. During a campaign event in Somersworth, New Hampshire, in February 2020, Biden told hecklers (9:45), “We are going to get rid of fossil fuels,” but then he added, “We’re going to phase out fossil fuels.”
At a town hall event in New Castle, New Hampshire, in September 2019, Biden told an audience member (25:17), “I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuel.” This prompted an attack by Pence during the October 2020 debate. The vice president said: “Joe Biden looked a supporter in the eye and pointed and said, ‘I guarantee, I guarantee that we will abolish fossil fuels.'”
However, what Pence failed to mention was what Biden said next: “Before 2050, God willing. No, it can’t be done by 2030. No. There is not one single person that’s argued it can be done by then. But it can be done by 2050, it may be 2045.”
During the primaries, Harris’ platform called for “replacing dirty fossil fuels with clean renewable energy,” proposed to “phase out all fossil fuel development on public lands” and stated: “We must begin intentionally and deliberately transitioning away from fossil fuels, shifting from being an exporter of fossil fuels to an exporter of clean energy technology.”
There’s no doubt that both Biden and Harris, like many others, are proposing a broad, long-term transition away from fossil fuels to what is known as “clean energy.” In their platforms, both have emphasized new employment opportunities and protections for workers whose jobs and livelihoods are affected by that transition, which they say will take decades. As we’ve shown, Biden has explicitly stated that the phasing out of fossil fuels cannot be completed until 2045 at the earliest — a 25-year transition.
The Trump-Pence rhetorical strategy has been to falsely present that movement as a sudden halt or overnight legal prohibition on fossil fuel production that would prove catastrophic to employment prospects in the United States. In reality, the Biden-Harris platform is much more nuanced.