Buttigieg defends Biden, claims Dems ‘would have chosen somebody else’ if they wanted fracking ban

Buttigieg defends Biden, claims Dems 'would have chosen somebody else' if they wanted fracking ban

“The Story” host Martha MacCallum pressed Joe Biden campaign surrogate Pete Buttigieg Wednesday over the 2020 Democratic nominee’s position on fracking and the oil industry following repeated attempts to clarify earlier comments on the issue.

The former South Bend, Ind. mayor told MacCallum that while Biden opposes a full fracking ban, “he understands that climate change is real and he’s put forward a way to deal with it that supports workers in the energy industry through this transition.

“I suspect … no one really thinks that we’re going to have the exact same energy profile in 2050 that we do in 2020,”  Buttigieg added. “Now, you can either pretend that is not a reality, just like the president wants to pretend the pandemic is not reality, or you can get the American people and the American economy ready for it.”

Trump has criticized Biden for changing his position on fracking over the course of his campaign; the former vice president has variously called for outlawing all fracking, banning drilling on federal lands and waters, suspending new permits on federal lands and waters, and has also voiced his full support for the industry.

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Biden has repeatedly rejected the claim that he would seek to ban fracking and said he would only push for an end to new oil and gas permits on federal land, but would not call for a revocation of existing permits. His clarification followed his remarks at last week’s debate that supported transitioning the U.S. away from oil.

MacCallum reminded Buttigieg that “fracking has allowed this country to become energy independent from the Middle East. That’s a tremendous dynamic change in geopolitical environments in the world.

“Don’t you think that that was a good change?” she asked.

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“Yeah,” Buttigieg responded. “That’s one of the reasons why Joe Biden defeated some Democrats who were further to his left who called for an outright ban on fracking, which he opposes.”

Buttigieg said Biden’s position on the issue “is one that really resonates with the American people who understand that in the long run, we’ll need to continue to transition to more renewable energy.

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“At the same time, he has expressed support for that to happen in a way that doesn’t mean a ban on fracking,” he added. “If the Democratic Party wanted to choose a candidate who was for an outright total ban then they would have chosen somebody else.”

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.

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