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'Fracking Is Bad, Actually': Ocasio-Cortez Interjects After Harris Falters Over Pence Attack on Green New Deal

"Kamala is doing well," said one climate movement leader, "but she'd be on even stronger ground if Biden had *endorsed* the Green New Deal. Far better to play offense than having to do this in-between approach."

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in the vice presidential debate against U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vice presidential candidates only meet once to debate before the general election on November 3. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in the vice presidential debate against U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vice presidential candidates only meet once to debate before the general election on November 3. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Even as Vice President Mike Pence was busy "polluting the atmosphere with lies" about the climate crisis during Wednesday night's vice presidential debate, Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris came under considerable criticism of her own after repeatedly highlighting Joe Biden's commitment to "not ban fracking" and an overall lackluster defense of the Green New Deal—the signature framework put forth by progressives and the scientific community to combat the threat of a rapidly warming world.

"Fracking is bad, actually," tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) after Harris repeatedly proclaimed, in response to Pence's charge that Democrats want to "abolish fossil fuels," that a Biden administration would not ban hydraulic fracturing.

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While Pence attacked Harris' support for the Green New Deal, which she co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate, backers of the proposal—a plan that would combat the existential  planetary emergency by making major investments in renewable energy infrastructure projects that would create millions of jobs—pointed out that ending destructive fossil fuel extraction, including fracking, is a policy to embrace not run away from.

Outside observers also offered advice to the Biden campaign to step up its game if the Trump-Pence ticket is going to make attacking the Green New Deal part of its re-election strategy.

And as Ocasio-Cortez subsequently tweeted, the Green New Deal remains not only popular, but essential:

"Kamala is doing well," said Jamie Henn, co-founder of 350.org and director of Fossil Free Media, "but she'd be on even stronger ground if Biden had *endorsed* the Green New Deal.  Far better to play offense than having to do this in-between approach."

According to Waleed Shahid of the Justice Democrats, "I feel like Kamala Harris over-corrected way too much after being being attacked as the 'liberal Senator of California' on her climate crisis responses."

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