President Joe Biden will announce a ban on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters on Wednesday, according to several reports.
Biden’s decision bars any new fracking on federal lands despite his campaign promise not to ban the practice.
“I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again: I am not banning fracking,” Biden said in August 2020 during the presidential campaign. “No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
Despite multiple promises to end fracking and fossil fuels during the Democrat primary or end “new fracking,” Biden clarified while campaigning in Pennsylvania ahead of the presidential election that he would only ban new fracking on federal lands.
“No, I would not shut down this industry. I know our Republican friends are trying to say I said that,” Biden said about fracking in an interview with Pittsburg’s KDKA News.
“I said I would not do any new leases on federal lands,” Biden continued. “Ninety percent of the leases are not on federal land, to begin with. I would make sure … the water is not being contaminated. But I would not shut it down, no.”
The issue of a fracking ban was prominently featured in the final presidential debate when Biden falsely stated that he never said he would ban fracking.
From the transcript:
Welker: All right. Let me allow Vice President Biden to respond–
Biden: I have never said I oppose fracking.
Trump: You said it on tape.
Biden: I did? Show the tape. Put it on your website.
Trump: I’ll put it on.
Biden: Put it on the website. The fact of the matter is he’s flat lying.
Welker: Would you rule out banning fracking?
Biden: I do rule out banning fracking because the answer we need– We need other industries to transition to get to, ultimately, a complete zero emissions by 2025. What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking. Capture the emissions from gas. We can do that and we can do that by investing money into– It’s a transition to that.
Welker: I have one more question–
Trump: Excuse me. He was against fracking. He said it. I will show that to you tomorrow. ‘I am against fracking’, until he got the nomination, went to Pennsylvania then he said– You know what, Pennsylvania? He’ll be against it very soon because his party is totally against it.
Biden: Fracking on federal land, I said. No fracking or oil on federal land.
President Trump followed through on his promise, publishing a campaign video highlighting Biden’s discussion of eliminating fracking and fossil fuels.
He played the highlight video at several of his rallies in Pennsylvania.