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Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden greets guests during a campaign stop at the Water's Edge Nature Center on December 2, 2019 in Algona, Iowa.

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden greets guests during a campaign stop at the Water's Edge Nature Center on December 2, 2019 in Algona, Iowa. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

People Who Want to Ban Fracking Immediately, Says Joe Biden, 'Oughta Vote for Someone Else'

"Might I recommend Bernie Sanders: the climate candidate," responds Vermont senator's press secretary.

Eoin Higgins

If you want a candidate committed to banning fracking in the United States immediately, find another candidate than Joe Biden.

That's the advice of Biden himself, given to an activist from the Sunrise Movement in a video posted online Thursday after the two discussed the former vice president's adviser Heather Zichal and Biden's plans for the future of fracking.

In the video of the interaction posted on Twitter by Sunrise Thursday afternoon, Biden appears confused about Zichal's connections to the natural gas industry, protesting that the adviser "worked for us in the administration."

"No, no, I know," the Sunrise activist patiently explains as Biden grabs him by the shoulders. "But she also worked—"

"If you look at my record," Biden begins, "look at my record. Just look at my record."

The two discuss fracking as well. Biden tells the activist that "you can't ban fracking right now" because "you gotta transition away from it."

"You're gonna ban fracking all across America, right now, right?" Biden asks the Sunrise activist.

"I would love to," the activist replies. 

"I'd love to, too," says Biden. "I'd love to make sure we can't use any oil or gas, period. Now, now, is it possible?"

"Yes," replies the Sunrise activist.

"Well, you oughta vote for someone else," says Biden, releasing the young man and moving on. 

As Sludge reported in May, adviser Zichal "recently occupied a lucrative seat on the board of the Texas-based liquified natural gas (LNG) company Cheniere Energy." Cheniere is a frequent donor to Republican politicians.

CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair referred to Biden's "No Malarkey" bus tour in a tweet about the interaction.

"Here's some choice malarkey from Biden on his climate advisor, Heather Zichal, who pulled down more than a cool (or hot, I guess) million on the board of Cheniere Energy, a Texas-based liquified natural gas company whose execs she'd gotten cozy with while working for Obama," tweeted St. Clair.

The interaction caught the attention of Briahna Joy Gray, campaign press secretary for Bernie Sanders, who earlier this year added a federal fracking ban to his 2020 campaign platform.

"Biden says 'you ought to vote for somebody else' if you want us to ban fracking and transition away from fossil fuels now," tweeted Gray. "Might I recommend Bernie Sanders: the climate candidate."


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