Joe Biden said he supports continuing the use of hydraulic fracturing to open underground natural gas formations — a practice known as fracking — as a way to “transition” to cleaner kinds of energy.
Biden’s position on fracking, which is out of step with many in his party who would like to see the practice ended as a way to combat climate change, could politically help the former vice president in states like Pennsylvania, home to large natural gas deposits.
Biden has said he wants to gradually move away from the practice.
“Yes, I do. I do,” Biden said when asked by a voter if he would “support the continuation of fracking safely and with proper guidelines.”
Biden said he would also support putting union laborers to work to cap wells that are leaking.
“It’s important for this community. It’s important for Pennsylvania and Ohio and other states. It’s an important business and it’s a lot of wages involved in that,” Biden said. “But beyond that, beyond that we can also get people working now capping the wells that are left uncapped right now across this region.”
When asked by Anderson Cooper if he is trying to have it both ways on fracking, Biden said fracking “has to continue because we need a transition.”
“We’re going to get to net zero emissions by 2050 and we’ll get to net zero power emissions by 2035,” Biden said. “But there is no rationale to eliminate (fracking) right now.”