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AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsifies Biden stance on fracking

CALVIN WOODWARD
Associated Press
Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is persisting with the myth that Democratic rival Joe Biden proposes to ban fracking. Biden doesn't.

TRUMP: "One of the most important issues for Pennsylvania is the survival of your fracking industry. Joe Biden has repeatedly pledged to abolish fracking. He’s a liar. He’s a liar.” — remarks Tuesday night at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

THE FACTS: That's false. Biden has repeatedly pledged not to abolish fracking.

His running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, underscored that point multiple times in the vice presidential debate. None of that has dissuaded the president from repeatedly and wholly distorting Biden's position.

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At one of the Democratic primary debates, Biden misspoke when he addressed the subject, saying that if he became president, there would be “no more — no new — fracking.” Biden's campaign quickly corrected his mistake.

Biden's actual position, which he frequently states, is that he would ban new gas and oil permits — including fracking — on federal lands only. The vast majority of oil and gas does not come from federal lands.

He's hewed closely to that middle-of-the-road position, going so far as to tell an anti-fracking activist that he “ought to vote for somebody else” if he was in a hurry to see fracking abolished.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, opened up a yearslong oil and gas boom in parts of the Southwest, High Plains and Northeast — including battleground Pennsylvania. The technique went into widespread use during the Obama-Biden administration.

Some liberal Democrats wish Biden were taking a tougher line against fracking now. But he isn't.

— Associated Press writer Kevin Freking in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.