Media Accepts Biden Claim He Won't Ban Fracking

September 1, 2020

Media members were quick to accept Joe Biden's claim on Monday that he is "not banning fracking," ignoring past statements from both Biden and running mate Kamala Harris in support of a complete ban.

CNN's Jim Acosta, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, and others framed Biden's remark as an accurate "fact-check" of President Donald Trump's attacks, but Biden has expressed support for a fracking ban.

Biden said at a debate in March there would be "no new fracking" under his administration before claiming he only meant he would stop new drilling permits on federal lands. He said last year that fracking and coal would be "eliminated" under his administration. He also said he would be willing to trade thousands of jobs created by the oil and gas industry to transition to a greener economy.

The Democratic nominee told one activist that he would "love to" ban the practice but doing so immediately is not realistic.

Biden's official position is to ban "new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters," but vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and several of Biden's former primary opponents favor a blanket ban on the practice.

Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling and extraction method of obtaining oil and gas from underground shale rocks. It has spurred an energy boom in the United States since 2000, but some climate activists oppose the practice as environmentally unfriendly.