Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Joe Biden’s newly revealed plan to transition away from oil energy and fracking by 2050 is a good ‘first step’ in combating the climate crisis.
Pennsylvania voters, however, are not pleased with the Democratic nominee’s recent commitment to move the U.S. away from those energy sources – especially as fracking is a huge industry in the rust belt state.
In three separate interviews with local news in the swing state on Saturday, Biden was faced with grillings about his comment, which was made for the first time at the second and final debate with President Donald Trump Thursday.
Biden has faced backlash, as well, for his mixed-messaging on fracking, at some points claiming he wants to ban the measure completely, and at other times assuring voters that he does not plan to get rid of the process.
‘Look I’m from Scranton, Pennsylvania. My great grandfather was a mining engineer. So I come from coal country. And I’m not talking about eliminating fracking, I just said no more fracking on federal lands,’ Biden told CBS Philadelphia on Saturday.
Ocasio-Cortez said she is not bothered by Biden’s ‘confusing’ stance on the matter.
‘You know, it does not bother me. I believe – and I have a very strong position on fracking. The science is very clear,’ Ocasio-Cortez, who co-authored the progressive Green New Deal, told CNN’s Jake Tapper during an interview on ‘State of the Union’ Sunday morning.
Progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she is not ‘bothered’ by Joe Biden’s inconsistent messaging on fracking as she says it’s a good ‘first step’ to transition away from oil
Joe Biden vowed during the second and final debate Thursday that he would transition the U.S. away from oil and fracking toward wind and solar and other renewable energy sources by 2050
While spending time in Pennsylvania over the weekend, Biden had to answer for these comments from voters in the key battleground state who are not happy with his remarks on banning fracking
‘Just from a perspective of stopping climate change, there is a scientific consensus,’ she said in reference to the harms of fracking. ‘However, that is my view. Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with a fracking ban.’
While Ocasio-Cortez said it is clear she and the former vice president disagree on fracking, it’s important ‘to focus on winning the White House first.’
‘I’m happy to make my case. But I also understand that he is in disagreement on that issue,’ she added.
At the debate Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee, Biden committed to getting rid of oil energy by the year 2050, which Trump called a ‘big statement.’ Biden says instead, the U.S. will transition to renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
‘The natural gas industry, and oil is not going to be fundamentally changed. They’re already in transition,’ Biden assured NBC News affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Saturday. ‘What I’m saying is that we will not continue to subsidize, give tax breaks to the oil companies which amount to $40 billion. They will not get that, and that money will be put into research and development to figure out how to carbon capture what’s coming off of gas and oil.’
Ocasi-Cortez agrees with the idea of getting rid of subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
‘Well, when he says, we’re eliminating subsidies, I think that that is, frankly, an important first step,’ the New York Democrat told CNN. ‘There’s a lot of folks who like to tout themselves as free market capitalists, while still trying to make sure that they get as much government subsidy and propping up of the fossil fuel industry as possible.’
‘When you eliminate government subsidies, they – it becomes more difficult for fossil fuels to compete in the market,’ she added. ‘While the vice president wants to make sure that he’s not doing it by a government mandate or regulation, I do believe that we are moving towards that future. Again, I believe that there is a way and that we should push that process along. But, again, the vice president and I’s disagreements are, I believe, recorded. And that’s quite all right.’
Biden vowed Thursday he would move to transition away from oil and replace it with wind and solar by 2050.
‘Would you close down the oil industry?’ Trump asked Biden during a back-and-forth on the environment and energy sources at the debate in Nashville, Tennessee Thursday evening.
‘I would transition from the oil industry, yes,’ Biden affirmed, vowing to put a process in place to do so by 2050 if he were elected.
‘Oh, a transition. That’s a big statement,’ Trump said.
Biden shot back: ‘It is a big statement.’
‘Why would you do that?’ the debate moderator, NBC News’ Kristen Welker, cut in.
‘Because the oil industry pollutes it significantly,’ Biden said. ‘Because it has to be replaced by renewable energy – over time, over time. And I’ve stopped giving to the oil industry, I would stop giving them federal subsidies. You won’t give federal subsidies to the gas — excuse me, to solar and wind. Why are we giving them to the oil industry?’
Democratic nominee Joe Biden vowed at the debate Thursday to move away from the oil industry to achieve zero emissions by 2050
President Trump said that was a ‘very big statement’ as he claimed he knows more about wind power than Biden
‘We actually do give them to solar and wind and that is the biggest statement in terms of business, that is the biggest statement because basically what you’re saying – he is destroying the oil industry. Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio?’ Trump lamented.
Biden assured reporters before boarding his plane at the Nashville airport after the debate that people in the oil industry would not lose their jobs because there would be more created in the transition toward renewable energy.
‘Eventually we’re going to have to go to oil, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels,’ Biden clarified from his debate remarks. ‘We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.’
When pushed on if people would lose their jobs, Biden said, ‘Well, they’re not going to lose their jobs. And besides, they’re gonna…there are a lot more jobs that are gonna be created in other alternatives.’
The president boasted Thursday that he knows ‘more about wind’ power than Biden, as he reupped his peculiar claim that windmills ‘kill all the birds’.
‘We are energy independent,’ Trump assured after Biden claimed the ‘fastest growing industry in America’ is solar energy and wind.
‘I know more about wind than you do,’ the president touted.
‘It’s extremely expensive, kills all the birds, is very intermittent, it’s got a lot of problems,’ Trump said of wind energy and windmills
‘It’s extremely expensive, kills all the birds, is very intermittent, it’s got a lot of problems, and they happen to make the windmills in both Germany and China. And the fumes coming up, if you are a believer in carbon emission, the fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything were talking about with natural gas, which is very clean.’
‘Find me the science that says that,’ Biden countered.
The former vice president vowed while remaining on the topic of the environment and energy, that his plan would bring the total emissions to zero by 2050.
‘We have to move toward a net zero emissions,’ Biden said. ‘The first place to do that by the year 2035 is an energy production. By 2050, totally.’
As Trump went all in against wind energy, he praised solar for being the better option of the two, but claimed it’s not ‘quite there yet.’
‘It’s not powerful yet to really run our big, beautiful factories that we need to compete with the world,’ Trump claimed.
‘False,’ Biden cut-in.
Trump also railed against Biden for his vow to ban fracking, which the former vice president has claimed was taken out of context.
‘He takes everything out of context, but the point is, we have to move toward a net zero emissions,’ Biden said.
Trump slammed the idea as a ‘pipe dream.’