Speaking to reporters in Atlanta on Friday, Biden’s running mate said he will “deal with the oil subsidies.”
Republicans have launched a barrage of attacks on the issue.
Biden was asked during Thursday’s debate with President Donald Trump in Tennessee if there would be “any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration.” The Democrat offered a muddled response, initially saying he would transition away from oil, before clarifying he’d eliminate federal subsidies for the industry.
“I would transition away from the oil industry, yes," Biden said in the presidential debate's closing minutes under peppering from Trump. “The oil industry pollutes, significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time."
The Biden campaign's climate plan calls for the U.S. to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. And he repeated his pledge to end federal subsidies for the oil and gas industry. Harris clarified it does not mean he wishes to ban fracking.
After the debate, Biden told reporters he would not “ban” fossil fuels or move away from them for “a long time.”
Tackling climate change means sharply cutting oil, gas and coal emissions, scientists say, and that means eliminating most burning of fossil fuels. Biden talks of a 30-year transition to a carbon-free economy, by encouraging more wind and solar power and more energy efficiency.
The back-and-forth came as the debate was coming to a close, during a segment on how the candidates would respond to climate change.
Biden’s climate plan calls for achieving net-zero carbon emissions in part through nixing subsidies, which would have implications for fracking. Biden also has proposed a ban on new gas and oil permits on federal lands but not a full fracking ban.
Republicans seized on Biden’s answer to again claim that his policies would have damaging implications for the oil and gas industry.
Harris dismisses those attacks, saying Trump “likes to take everything out of context.” However, it always seems pretty hard getting a straight answer out of these Democratic-nominee pairs.
Trump took it to his Twitter account, slamming his rival: "Biden said he is going to “transition out of (fracking) by 2025”. I hope Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and all of the rest were listening last night. High energy prices, massive jobs losses! Vote Trump."