The future of the oil and gas industry and climate change emerged key topics in the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.
Biden advocated strongly for alternate energy, while Trump emphasized boosting the economy in last Thursday’s debate in Tennessee, Kallanish Energy reports.
Trump said he has no regrets over pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, a global effort to reduce global warming. “It would have destroyed our businesses,” he said.
Biden called global warming “an existential threat to humanity” and said the U.S. could create jobs by developing more wind and solar energy.
The two candidates had a stark disagreement over the future of the oil industry.
Trump asked Biden if he would “close down” the oil industry in an exchange that is getting lots of attention post-debate.
“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden responded.
That, Trump said, was a “big statement.”
Biden said the oil industry is a major polluter and said he was opposed to subsidies for the O&G industry.
Biden added, “It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time. Over time.”
Trump called Biden’s comment “the biggest statement.” He accused the Democratic challenger of planning to destroy the oil industry.
“Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio?” Trump asked. He appeared to be pleased by the direction of the exchange.
The four states are all big oil and natural gas states. Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio are all battleground states in the Nov. 3 election in which Trump is trailing Biden in most polls.
Republican Trump supporters immediately attacked Biden’s comments, saying Biden would kill millions of jobs.
Pressed by reporters after the debate, Biden said the U.S. will have to get rid of oil “but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels.”
He added that he supports getting rid of subsidies for fossil fuels, but “we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time. It will not be gone for…probably 2050,” he told Fox News.
In the debate, Trump also accused Biden of opposing hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Biden denied taking such a position.
He opposed fracking in a Democratic primary but his campaign walked back those comments, saying he only opposed fracking only on public or federal lands.
Biden supports net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. His plan calls for developing technologies to reduce emissions from fossil fuels, not from banning them.
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