Transcript for Joe Biden pressed on fracking
question from Michelle from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A businesswoman, a social worker. Republican who has voted for Democrats but you’re not sure what you’re going to do this correct? Correct. Greetings, former vice president Biden. In a recent 2012 report, fracking was discussed and its possible implications for the waterways from the commonwealth to the gulf. Fracking has made people sick and killed wildlife in western Pennsylvania. The commonwealth has already begun to transition people away from fossil fuels. What industries that are not harmful to human health and the environment are you planning for southwest Pennsylvania and the nation? Well, first of all, I make it clear, I do not propose banning fracking. I think you have to make sure that fracking is, in fact, not emitting methane or polluting the well or dealing with what can be small earthquakes and how they’re drilling. So, it has to be managed very, very well, number one. Number two, what we have to do is, the future rests in renewable energy. The single fastest growing energy source in the world right now, because, I’m going to say something that’s going to sound self-serving, but I managed the recovery act and I was able to invest billions of dollars into bringing down the cost of — the cost per btu of wind and solar. So, now, it’s cheaper than coal, it’s cheaper than oil right now. And it has great, great promise. And it is also the fastest growing employer in the energy industry. And so there are a number of things I would do immediately. Number one, there are well over 100,000 wells that are left uncapped in the region. We could hire 128,000 of these people who are working in the industry to cap these wells and get a good salary doing it now, number one. Number two, we should be moving toward finding the new technologies that are going to be able to deal with carbon capture so all the millions of transition, we move from a net zero emission of carbon, that we’re still going to be able to use, if we find the right technology, some gases, some gas to be able to, if we can carbon capture. And I think we’re going to be able to move in a direction where, by the year 2035, we’ll be able to have net zero emissions of carbon from the creation of energy, energy creation. So we can move it by dealing with those and every time we talk about global warming or the environment, the president thinks of, you know, it’s a joke and I think it’s jobs. Because what we’re going to have happen is, you’ll be able to see now, as I started to say before, I, as president, am going to invest that $600 billion we spend in government contracts only on those things that, in fact, also are not only made in America, but building an infrastructure that’s clean and new. And what we have to do is focus on the transmission of energy across the country from areas relating to solar and wind. The reason is that they have not — that has not been mastered yet. I met a lot of people in silicon valley, the battery technology the increasing significantly. You’re going to be able to have solar on your home and a battery this by this by this in your basement so when the sun doesn’t shine for five days, you still have enough energy. So, we’re making significant progress. The other thing we’re going to do is provide an awful lot of work, it’s estimated to put close to a million people to work, by weatherizing 4 million buildings and 2 million homes. Because we’ll save tons and tons of energy, billions of barrels of energy over time and at the same time, provide significant employment. And a good union wages, prevailing wages. Let me stick on fracking for a second. As you know, it’s an important issue here in Pennsylvania. Not everyone buys your deniable. A member of the local 154 was quoted saying you can’t have it both ways. You can’t meet your goal to end fossil fuels without ending fracking. What do you say to people who doubt your deniable because they think — I tell the boilmakers overwhelmingly endorse me. I sat down with them, went into great detail what I would do. Number two, what I would do, I would stop making — I would stop giving tax breaks and subsidizing oil. We don’t need to subsidize oil any longer, number one, we should stop that and save billions of dollars over time. What I would do, with regard to — there’s no — the difference between me and the new green deal, they say automatically, by 2030, we’re going to be carbon free. So, are you for it against on your website, you call it a crucial framework. My deal is a crucial framework, but not the new green deal. The new green deal calls for elimination of all non-renewable energy by 2030. You can’t get there. You’re going to need to be able to transition, George. To be able to transition to get to the place where we invest in new technologies that allow us to do things that get us to a place where we get to net zero emission. Including in agriculture. I laid out a detailed plan. We should be taking the plan where we allow significant more land to be put in conservation, plant deep-rooted plants that absorb carbon from the air and pay farmers to do it. We can do things, pelletize chicken and cow manure, take out the methane and use it as fertilizer. Right now, down in — people, when I say they, they wonder what I’m talking about. The biggest carbon sink in the world is the Amazon. More carbon absorbed from the air diminishing global warming in the Amazon than all the carbon emitted on a yearly basis from the United States of America, from all vehicles and so, we have to use our imaginations. We have to move in the direction, as well, providing for electric vehicles. Electric vehicles will save billions of gallons of oil, create estimated, not me, wall Street, 1 million automobile jobs. But we’re lagging. We’re not investing. We’re not doing the research.
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