Joe Biden on Monday rebutted President Trump's claim that the Democratic nominee would seek to ban fracking, the oil-and-gas extraction method that has enabled a surge in U.S. production over the last decade.

Why it matters: The remarks came during a speech in Pennsylvania, a critical swing state Trump carried in 2016 where fracking-enabled natural gas development is a major industry. Nearby Ohio, which Trump also won, is also a big gas-producing state.

  • "I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again. I am not banning fracking. No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me," Biden said.

Flashback: Some of the confusion around Biden's policy stems from a March debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders when Biden said, "No new fracking."

  • Biden's energy and climate platform aims to thwart new oil-and-gas development on federal lands and waters, but it does not call for a national ban on fracking that would affect private lands, where the nation's oil-and-gas boom has been centered.
  • His campaign later clarified that Biden was restating his existing platform — not endorsing Sanders' call for a nationwide ban.
  • Such a ban would require congressional action, which is extraordinarily unlikely.

Where it stands: During his speech, Biden promoted his backing for renewable energy while he emphasized that he doesn't favor a fracking ban.

  • "We won’t just build things back the way they were before, we’re going to build them back better with good-paying jobs, building our nation’s roads, bridges, solar arrays, windmills."
  • He called for a "clean energy strategy that has a place for the energy workers right here in western Pennsylvania."

Yes, but: While he does not support a ban on fracking, Biden's overall platform calls for an accelerated transition away from fossil fuels via several policies, including a target of 100% carbon-free power by 2035.

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Amy Harder, author of Generate
Sep 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

Big Tech takes the climate change lead

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photo: Jit Chattopadhyay/Pacific Press/LightRocket

The tech industry is playing a growing role in fighting climate change, from zero-carbon commitments to investments in startups and pushing for the use of data to encourage energy efficiency.

Why it matters: Big Tech is already dominating our economy, politics and culture. Its leadership in helping to address climate change — and reckon with its role in contributing to it — could have similarly transformative impacts.

Updated Sep 17, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: The economics of renewable energy

On Thursday, September 17, Axios' Amy Harder hosted a conversation on the growth of clean energy and sustainability, featuring Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Amazon's Head of Worldwide Sustainability Kara Hurst.

Gov. Inslee discussed efforts within Washington to address climate change, its impact on fires in Washington state and the role of renewable energy in the state.

  • On the role of climate change in recent fires: "These fires are incredibly cataclysmic. The solution to this, of course...[is that] we need to reduce this climate change. It is the ultimately cataclysmic situation we face in Washington."
  • On President Trump's attitude to renewable energy: "He has tried to throw up a roadblock against any development of renewables industries. He's got an allergy to good ideas and infatuation with deception. He's downplayed climate change, just like he downplayed COVID."

Kara Hurst unpacked Amazon's aims to hit carbon neutrality in 2040 and its efforts to help companies develop climate-friendly technologies through a $2 billion venture fund.

  • On partnering with oil and gas producers to achieve climate change goals: "Amazon, like every other company you just mentioned — Google, Microsoft, many tech companies — works across a wide variety of industries. And I believe it's absolutely necessary to work with those types of industries to create transformation."
  • On recent research at Amazon on the sustainability of online shopping: "Online grocery deliveries can generate 43% lower carbon emissions per item as compared to shopping in stores."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Vinson & Elkins Head of Renewables Practice Group Kaam Sahely, who discussed the surge in demand for renewable energy and the growth of the sector.

  • "The demand [for renewable energy] is almost insatiable. It's not that it's completely without regards to government regulation...The demand for renewable energy continues to rise."

Thank you Vinson & Elkins for sponsoring this event.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.