Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman last week said he has always been a supporter of the fracking industry, a statement which contradicts his past comments disavowing the practice, CNN reported on Tuesday.
"I support fracking" Fetterman said in an NBC News interview last week. "I’ve always supported it, as long as it’s done environmentally sound and making sure that we’re not contaminating our waterways."
But in 2018, Fetterman said the opposite in an interview with a YouTube channel uncovered by CNN.
"I don’t support fracking, at all, and I never have," Fetterman said. "I’ve signed the no fossil fuels money pledge. I have never received a dime from any natural gas or oil company whatsoever."
Fetterman's reversal of his position on fracking just weeks ahead of his competitive Senate race against Dr. Mehmet Oz could represent an effort to distance himself from the Democratic Party's green platform as energy prices have reached record highs in the United States.
Fetterman in 2016 criticized fracking in a Reddit comment, calling it a "stain" on Pennsylvania.
"I am not pro-fracking and have stated that if we did things right in this state, we wouldn’t have fracking," Fetterman said. "The industry is a stain on our state and natural resources. ... I signed the Food and Water Watch’s pledge to end fracking."
The Fetterman campaign told CNN the Democrat has not changed his position on fracking, saying "throughout his career John has stood up to politicians to fight for U.S. Steel’s right to build fracking wells."
The Biden administration has similarly changed its rhetoric on domestic oil production. While President Joe Biden campaigned on a pledge to end the "ability for the oil industry to continue to drill" and froze gas leases, a spokesman for the White House this month insisted the administration has worked to boost domestic drilling and become less reliant on foreign oil.