“I’ve always supported fracking.”
That was Pennsylvania Democratic Senatorial candidate John Fetterman in his Oct. 25 debate with Republican candidate Mehmet Oz in response to a question by the debate’s moderator quoting Fetterman opposing hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas in a 2018 interview when he stated, “I don’t support fracking at all. I never have.”
Rather than simply say he changed his mind, Fetterman instead opted to attempt to convince the audience, and millions of Pennsylvanians who are paying a lot more for heating oil and natural gas than they have in years, that he had always been in favor of fracking.
Either Fetterman was lying, or he cannot remember he was a radical environmentalist his entire career even when it’s quoted to him.
In a 2016 post on Reddit, Fetterman was even more explicit, writing, “The industry is a stain on our state and natural resources,” adding, “I’m not pro-fracking and have stated that if we did things right in this state, we wouldn’t have fracking.”
The truth is, Fetterman never supported fracking and drilling in the state, a statewide industry that produced 7.53 trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas in 2021, or 21.8 percent of the nation’s output, second only to Texas’ 8.5 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
But for that natural gas — if for example Pennsylvania had done what New York has done by barring fracking — and prices would be even higher in the U.S.
Ironically, gas has always been the go-to replacement for coal-powered electricity stations, with Obama administration EPA regulations incentivizing power plants to be retrofitted for natural gas, a reality even the White House’s 2021 climate strategy highlights, stating, “Coal generation has declined rapidly, replaced by natural gas and renewables.”
Perhaps that was too complicated for Fetterman to lay out in the limited time offered in the debate, so just lie.
Pennsylvania’s production of gas has played a large part in the replacement of coal, but so radical was Fetterman’s position on the issue — and that of other radical environmentalists — that there could not be a replacement either when it comes to transitioning away from carbon. A full 50 percent of households nationwide use natural gas to heat their homes every year. Could we really do without it?
But so many Pennsylvanians still depend on home heating oil as well, being the number three consumer in the country behind New York and Massachusetts. These states would have the greatest incentive of all to support natural gas production, especially with national pushes like Fetterman’s to stop using oil. Even if one wanted to get to a carbon-neutral energy output, leveraging U.S. gas production as a hallmark of the nation’s strategy to reduce emissions.
And yet the issue of oil and gas production has not been an easy layup for Democrats nationally like Fetterman, who serve more than one master: their constituents and the radical environmentalists in Washington, D.C. who want America to stop emitting carbon.
Maybe that’s what Fetterman meant when he also said at the debate he’s “walked that line” his whole career.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
This post, Fetterman in PA debate claims he ‘always supported fracking’ after asked about his quote he ‘never’ supported it, was originally published on The Daily Torch and is republished here with permission. Please support their efforts.