Politics Trump’s Fracking Fixation Is Not Landing in Pennsylvania

12:21  23 october  2020
12:21  23 october  2020 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Trump hits Biden on fracking in appeal to Pennsylvania voters

  Trump hits Biden on fracking in appeal to Pennsylvania voters President Trump on Tuesday harped on Democratic nominee's stance on fracking in a pitch to Pennsylvania voters, zeroing in on an issue of heightened importance in the Keystone State. © Getty Images Trump hits Biden on fracking in appeal to Pennsylvania voters The president's campaign rally was filled with his usual attacks on Biden's mental sharpness and character and exaggerated claims about the former vice president's platform. But his speech was tailored a bit more toward the crowd with heavy references to fracking.

President Trump told backers at an Erie, Pa ., rally Tuesday night that the battleground state is crucial to his chances of winning re-election, and his stance on fracking is crucial to the Keystone state. “You know if we win Pennsylvania we win the whole thing,” Trump said. Trump spent the rally promoting

On Friday we reported that President Trump spoke to workers at a Whirlpool factory in Clyde, Ohio, to tout his efforts to restore America’ s manufacturing base. During the speech Trump also spoke about his work to reform prescription drug pricing by the pharmaceutical industry.

PITTSBURGH—Mike Baltzer comes from a blue-collar family in western Pennsylvania. But he barely hears anyone talk about fracking—long hyped as a local economic engine—positively anymore.

a large ship in a body of water: Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty

For his part, Baltzer, 42, staunchly opposes fracking, the drilling and high-pressure injection of liquid into rocks to collect oil and gas, because of its potential to harm the environment.

“I’m not coming at this from a tree-hugger, hippy background,” Baltzer told The Daily Beast. “I’m a Yinzer. And I know better.”

Donald Trump has taken on a hardline pro-fracking stance against Democrat Joe Biden in their final, frenetic push to capture the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes, which flipped red as part of the president’s shock 2016 victory. At a rally in Erie on Tuesday and again at the final debate on Thursday, Trump tore into the former vice president, mocking what he described as the Democrat’s flip-flop on the practice.

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Trump was on fire tonight! During his Erie, Pennsylvania rally President Trump took time out to play video of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris promising to ban fracking — a HUGE industry in Pennsylvania .

This article does not contain the most recently published data on this subject. If you would like to help our coverage grow, consider donating to Ballotpedia. Hydraulic fracturing , also known as fracking , is a method of oil and natural gas extraction that involves injecting fluid into subterranean rock

“You know what Pennsylvania? He’ll be against it very soon, because his party is totally against it,” Trump said Thursday.

Biden has carefully avoided bashing fracking for some time, saying that he doesn’t want to ban it, but has opposed it on federal land. That seems to reflect a stubborn consensus among the Democratic political class that the issue is some kind of third-rail in the state. And it still is important to some voters, especially in more rural parts of a state infamously described by Democratic strategist James Carville as “Paoli and Penn Hills, with Alabama in between.”

But conversations with actual residents, local politicians, and a comb of public opinion data suggest perspectives on fracking in Pennsylvania are changing faster than top Democrats—and the president who seems to think it will save him—realize.

Swing-state Pennsylvanians are divided on fracking. Here’s why.

  Swing-state Pennsylvanians are divided on fracking. Here’s why. Trump keeps promoting fracking, but the industry is struggling.In front of a crowd of thousands gathered in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump played a compilation of video clips in which former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris described their plans to transition away from fossil fuels.

The Trump campaign has doubled down, refusing to take any questions not about the story during a pre-debate press call. However, given that those events are likely to be predominantly attended by firm Trump backers, it does little to prove the story resonates with voters outside Trump ’ s base.

Fracking in Pennsylvania in 2019 is producing an excess supply of gas, driving prices down, causing a petrochemical boom in order to use all the gas. Fracked hydrocarbon production continues to rise in Pennsylvania , resulting in an increase in waste production, violations, greenhouse gas emissions

According to the NPR project StateImpact Pennsylvania, the state has nearly 8,000 active natural gas wells, and many—more than 1,100—are in Washington County, which is south of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania’s natural gas and oil industry employs about 26,000 people, according to advocacy group Food and Water Watch.

Recent polls show Pennsylvanians generally are mixed on the practice. A joint CBS and YouGov poll from August showed 52 percent of Pennsylvanians oppose fracking with 48 percent approving. Another August poll prepared by Democratic firm Global Strategy Group for the advocacy group Climate Power 2020 showed that while 61 percent of Pennsylvanians had a favorable view of the natural gas industry, only 32 percent had a favorable view of the fracking industry, compared to 50 percent unfavorable.

According to Andrew Baumann, a researcher for Global Strategy Group, the same poll showed similar numbers for Pittsburgh, the largest city in western Pennsylvania: 38 percent favorable compared to 51 percent unfavorable. Statewide, only 8 percent are “very” favorable toward the fracking industry, Baumann added—and that number was just 9 percent for Pittsburgh in his firm’s data.

Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker

  Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker Here is the full transcript of the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, moderated by Kristen Welker in Nashville on Oct. 22, 2020. Headers have been added for ease of reading. © Mario Tama, Getty Images People are pictured watching the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at The Abbey in West Hollywood, California. [0:00] Welker: A very good evening to both of you. This debate will cover six major topics.

Will you remember that Pennsylvania ? Oklahoma?" Trump said of Biden’s plan. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) responded to Trump ’ s tweet and warned Biden that his state and others are “watching” and accused Biden of lying about his position on fracking .

Presidential nominee Joe Biden says hopefully Tump will 'play by the rules' ahead of the second presidential debate.

Despite this, top Democrats around the country and in Pennsylvania have been cautious about supporting a ban on fracking, long pushed by environmentalists as a way to combat climate change and promote clean water. Pennsylvania Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, often heralded as a progressive, and Pittsburgh Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto both told The New York Times in January that they feared a presidential candidate running on banning fracking could crush Democrats’ chances of winning Pennsylvania in November.

But Bethany Hallam, Democratic councilperson-at-large in Allegheny County, supports a ban on fracking—and believes positive sentiment toward it has dwindled in the past five years or so.

“For forever, it was positioned as, you either have clean air and a healthy environment, or you have good paying jobs,” Hallam told The Daily Beast. “And folks have started to realize that’s just a propaganda manipulation tactic by folks in the natural gas industry.”

Hallam thinks presidential candidates would have a better chance of impressing Pennsylvanians by talking more about union jobs and renewable energy. Most recent surveys show Biden—who talks about both and whose plan ultimately does likely mean phasing out fracking—leading statewide.

Fact Check: Joe Biden wants to eliminate new fracking permits, not all fracking

  Fact Check: Joe Biden wants to eliminate new fracking permits, not all fracking A claim that former Vice President Joe Biden wants to ban fracking is not entirely true. He has publicly stated that he's opposed to a fracking ban.This summer, it was made in a post on Facebook and is similar to an ad by America First Action, a pro-Trump Political Action Committee. It includes a video of Biden answering a question in a primary debate and a claim that Biden could cost Pennsylvania more than 600,000 jobs. The video says it is paid for by America First Action.

President Donald Trump ended talks with Democratic leaders on a new stimulus package, hours after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’ s strongest call yet for greater spending to avoid damaging We made a very generous offer of .6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith.

Trump more or less agreed with reporting that he owes more than 0m to creditors. In a contentious exchange with Guthrie, Trump was asked about New York Times Joe Biden reiterated his opposition to banning fracking , a crucial issue for voters in Pennsylvania , where his town hall is taking place.

“I can tell by the way that both candidates are talking that they understand Pennsylvania is going to decide this presidential election,” Hallam said. “And so they’re speaking what they think is important, but I believe that they are both out of touch with what people in Pennsylvania actually want to see.”

Michael Oehling, a 28-year-old Republican resident in Butler county, north of Pittsburgh, who works in sales and serves as a Buffalo Township Supervisor, does not support a ban on fracking. He also believes it’s important for Pennsylvania because of the jobs and money provided to municipalities.

However, Oehling acknowledges the environmental damage that can come from the practice.

“I’ve seen those videos of people and their water being tainted,” Oehling told The Daily Beast. “I think fracking is good if it’s done correctly.”

Eric Garland, 37, a Republican Allegheny County resident who runs a landscaping business, said he’s all for fracking because it helps the economy.

“It’s pretty much gotten my family through the late 90s and early 2000’s for work,” Garland said. “Both my father, brother and sister worked in the industry for a little while, and my dad’s still in the industry on the chemical side now.”

But even Garland doesn’t believe fracking could swing the election in Pennsylvania, and, if anything, he said, the issue might help Biden.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Biden's Mixed Messaging on Fracking 'Does Not Bother Me'

  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Biden's Mixed Messaging on Fracking 'Does Not Bother Me' "I think young people right now have a very activist, disciplined mindset and they are not here with the intent of voting for their favorite person," Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday on CNN.She said that Biden's seemingly conflicting remarks on a fracking ban don't bother her or other young people who know that Biden would listen to activists and environmentalist— something President Donald Trump would never consider. Ocasio-Cortez said young people and herself are "going to vote for someone who they can lobby.

“A lot of people are more environmentally active right now than they were,” Garland said. “It’s hard, because a lot of times, they’re either under-informed or misinformed about certain things. And I’m sure it goes both ways.”

Allegheny County resident Nicole Vukovich, 40, doesn’t like fracking. She’s concerned about what it could do to the air. That being said, it’s not one of her top issues as a voter either.

“I just feel like there are so many other super-important issues,” Vukovich said. Issues like social justice, the pandemic, and voter suppression jump out as more important to her at this moment.

Julie Theaker, a 52-year-old in Westmoreland County, feels similarly.

“It’s just utterly ridiculous to destroy the environment and cause earthquakes and Lord knows what for a couple dollars a barrel,” she said.

Though Theaker supports a ban on fracking, she understands that Biden fears he could lose votes running on one. But she believes the votes to be lost are in states like Texas and Oklahoma, not Pennsylvania.

When some voters hear Trump going to bat so strongly for fracking, they get confused. To them, it seems like a now-irrelevant talking point.

“I don’t know, realistically, long-term, how much longer that industry will have the power that they do,” Baltzer said, adding, “It’s not going well for them.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

This single issue could decide how Western Pennsylvania votes .
In Western Pennsylvania, it's not hard to see why the fracking industry is central to the local economy. In parts of Washington County, just 30 miles west of Pittsburgh, the rolling hills are dotted with quaint, rustic farmhouses -- and fracking rigs. © kdka fracking Fracking, the drilling for natural gas through shale rock, is big business. Incomes rose in Washington County from $47,823 in 2010 to $63,119 in 2018, according to the US Census. It's also raised median home prices and has brought nearly 30,000 jobs to the state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

usr: 1
This is interesting!