Oct 9, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Fracking animates the Trump-Biden battle for Pennsylvania

Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pennsylvania, the big swing state that President Trump narrowly won in 2016, is now the second-largest natural gas producer behind Texas.

Why it matters: Trump and Vice President Pence are frequently accusing former vice president Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris of wanting to ban fracking — costing jobs in the process.

Reality check: Biden wants new restrictions and regulations on fossil fuel development, but isn't calling for a fracking ban, something he and Harris have been emphasizing. However, Biden's confusing statements in the primaries and Harris' prior endorsement of a ban have helped fuel the attacks.

The intrigue: Polling shows that Pennsylvanians are split on the topic, so it's hardly clear if Trump's strategy in the state — where he trails in recent polls — will bear fruit.

By the numbers: Via this in-depth CNN piece on the tussle...

  • "As of June 2019, shale operators, pipeline companies and service companies together employed nearly 32,000 people in Pennsylvania, according to a New York Times analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data."
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