Trump intensifies fracking assault on Biden in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — In a late gambit to win the battleground state of Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies have intensified attacks on Joe Biden over fracking, hoping to drive a wedge between the former vice president and the white, working-class voters tied to the state's booming natural gas industry.
That assault is playing out in a barrage of TV ads and conservative and right-wing websites, and is repeated at every Trump rally in the state.
It relies on a series of confusing statements from the former vice president — including remarks on the oil industry from last week's debate — to claim he intends to “ban” or end national gas extraction, although that is not the Democrat's official position.
Trump's fracking play comes as polls show the president is struggling to overtake Biden in Pennsylvania and in need of a boost from the rural and exurban white voters who helped him to a narrow victory in Pennsylvania in 2016.
It also shoots to snap the tightrope that Biden is walking between the Democratic Party’s left wing, which is hostile to fossil fuels, and its bedrock blue-collar union base that is building an expanding network of gas pipelines, power plants and processing facilities in Pennsylvania.
Biden’s climate change plan aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gases emissions by 2050, and does not involve banning fracking, the process formally named hydraulic fracturing that along with horizontal drilling made the United States an oil and gas superpower over the past decade.
He argues that net-zero threshold can be achieved by helping eliminate emissions from natural gas infrastructure, while redirecting federal subsidies for oil and gas to cleaner energies.
“I do rule out banning fracking because ... we need other industries to...