President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwo ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis McGrath: McConnell ‘can’t get it done’ on COVID-19 relief MORE on Tuesday targeted Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMcConnell challenger dodges court packing question ‘Hamilton’ cast to reunite for Biden fundraiser Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis MORE‘s stance on fracking in a pitch to Pennsylvania voters, zeroing in on an issue of heightened importance in the Keystone State.
The president’s campaign rally was filled with his usual attacks on Biden’s mental sharpness and character and exaggerated claims about the former vice president’s platform. But his speech was tailored a bit more toward the crowd with heavy references to fracking.
“Joe Biden has repeatedly pledged to abolish fracking he’s a liar, ok? He’s a liar,” Trump said, accusing Biden of flip-flopping.
“And let me tell you, it’s always the first thing that turns out to be true, OK,” Trump added. “There will be no fracking, whatsoever. And did you see, his party now is really angry at him because he’s saying maybe they’ll be fracking, it’s a very conditional, you know, it’s a very weak. But with me you’re going to frack. You’re going to frack.”
Fracking is a method of drilling into shale to release oil and natural gas. The practice is a major producer of energy in certain parts of the country, but it comes with significant environmental concerns, particularly about drinking water contamination, that have prompted progressives to call for limitations or an outright ban.
The Trump campaign has sought to turn Biden’s stance on fracking into a major issue in energy-producing states like Pennsylvania and Texas. But the Biden campaign has been adamant that the former vice president would not ban fracking.
Biden in a Democratic primary debate earlier this year seemed to indicate that he was also in favor of stopping fracking when pressed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Facebook to remove content denying the Holocaust | Microsoft disrupts international botnet group ahead of Election Day | First day of early voting in Georgia marred by technical problems, long lines Democrats accuse tech companies of deceitful tactics in campaign against Calif. ballot measure Democrats need to change messaging on abortion MORE (I-Vt.). But his campaign quickly sought to clarify that was not his official position.
“I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again: I am not banning fracking,” Biden told a crowd in Pennsylvania in August. “No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWatch live: Pence delivers remarks at Ohio rally Trump’s Hail Mary passes won’t get him in the end zone Sacha Baron Cohen joins Twitter as Borat to mock Trump MORE pressed Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisMcConnell challenger dodges court packing question The Hill’s Campaign Report: Barrett hearings take center stage | Trump returns to campaign trail The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Sights and sounds as Amy Coney’s Barrett hearing begins MORE (D-Calif.) on the campaign’s fracking stance during last week’s debate. Pence noted that Harris herself pushed to end fracking as part of her own unsuccessful presidential campaign.
“Joe Biden will not end fracking, he has been very clear about that,” Harris said.
The Trump campaign has put significant resources into holding Pennsylvania in November. The president won the state by roughly 45,000 votes in 2016, but polls have shown him trailing Biden there.
A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Biden leading in Pennsylvania by 7 percentage points. A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted last week showed Biden ahead by 7 points.