PITTSBURGH (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Monday he would not ban hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of drilling for crude oil and natural gas, if elected and called Republican assertions that he supports such a ban a lie.
The comment added a level of nuance to Biden’s energy platform, which includes an ambitious timeline for transitioning the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels and an end to new oil and gas drilling leasing on federal lands to fight climate change.
“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 said during a speech in western Pennsylvania, home to one of the world’s largest natural gas deposits.
Pennsylvania is a battleground state that could play a decisive role in the Nov. 3 election between Biden and Trump, the Republican president.