What Biden meant to say about fracking

Today I am putting on my political advisor hat and will stage an intervention to rescue Joe Biden from the fracking fracas.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden. (Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Part of the problem is of his own making, when he answered “yes” when asked if he would ban fracking.

Here is what he should have said, and should say in the future. (Tomorrow I will help Donald J. Trump on law and order.)

Mr. Biden, will you ban fracking?

Yes, I will ban fracking.

But I will not ban fracking now. 

Even Bernie Sanders said he would ban fracking as soon as possible.

Right now, it is not possible. I know it, Bernie knows it, and you know it.

I will also ban fossil fuel, such as gas, oil, and coal.

But I will not ban fossil fuels now.

We know these fuels pollute the air and the water. We also know, someday, they will run out. That is not the issue.

We can’t ban fracking and oil and natural gas and coal now because we do not have sufficient replacements from solar, wind, tidal, rivers and nuclear. Banning fossil fuels now would crash our economy and send us back to living in  caves. With no air-conditioning! Even the Green New Deal has a timetable for change in the future

No sane person would ban fracking and fossil fuels now. And I am sane. 

So that is the truth: As a nation we have moved from  horse power to sail to steam; we have moved to electrical power and fossil fuels and nuclear power. They will be replaced by renewable sources of energy.

Replacing fossil fuels is inevitable, it will relieve the environment, it will cost less, and one day we all will wonder what the big deal about fracking was. 

14 thoughts on “What Biden meant to say about fracking”

  1. Nobody has the exact numbers of workers in the fracking and oil busines but we can say it is in the millions. Biden knows that they are mostly union workers who could care less about climate change if it affects their paycheck, Joe Biden is being torn between advisors on one side who go by the polls and on the Sanders group who do not care about polls but concrete promises to implement changes however difficult or costly Quite a diemna Joe has to walk the line of neutrality yet make strong remarks about how to stop the invisible rioting. The contest continues to reflect to me that neither candidate really shows what the leader of the world should reflect in manner, leadership, integrity and a vision of just what the future will look like in reality and not in jelly reflections of a utopia of words. Worse the two Vice presidential candidates bring nothing to the voters to make them electable. I am close to the Carlin position on voting which if I don’t vote can claim the right position that if either side fails to fulfill their promises to the voters I was right I did not vote and you supported the guy nobody likes.

  2. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu & readers,

    It strikes me that Mr. Biden’s position on fracking is very strange. He prides himself on his foreign policy knowledge and credentials, yet it is well known, I believe, that fracking has made the country substantially independent of foreign oil imports. What a relief! That is a momentous point, considering the balance of payments, the former power of OPEC and the public distaste for endless wars in the Middle East oil patch. My sense of the matter is that control of Middle East oil essentially involved control of oil supplies to continental Europe –or that is how it became so prominent. Let the Europeans worry about it.

    As I understand the matter, New York state has banned fracking, while it constitutes a substantial new industrial development in PA. Is Mr. Biden intent on repeating Secretary Clinton’s 2016 poor electoral performance in up-state PA? Recall that NYC is an electoral power in New York State much greater than that of the large urban concentrations in Pennsylvania.

    However important renewable energy may become in the future, right now and for the foreseeable future, fracking is very important in PA –and for the country as a whole.

    H.G. Callaway

    1. To reiterate, Biden will NOT ban fracking anytime soon, except maybe on federal land. He will NOT repeat Hillary’s mistake. (I am NOT voting for Biden; or Trump.)

      1. Philadelphia, PA

        Dear Stu,

        Might we ask, then “How soon is soon?” Might his degree of sympathy for a ban depend on what the Democrats say next year? Will this doubts on fracking make the folks up-sate happy? I think you’ve surely seen the new polling numbers in the state.

        I remain decidedly non-partisan and a registered independent! I want Biden to talk me into a vote.

        H.G. Callaway

        1. Of course you can ask. The answer as to when we will ban will be AFTER the alternatives can replace ALL fossil fuel. Not to be grim, but unlikely in my lifetime. (My father lived to 98.)

  3. Your article just proves that Biden ain’t all he’s fracked up to be. Not that we didn’t know that before. I believe the operative word here is “pandering.”

    Oil, first discovered in the 1850s. Used for everything from sealing roofs to medicine. If we stopped using “organic” fossil fuel, we would be in a world of hurt. But that’s politics. Why lay out a plan when you can scare the world with fact and fiction. Mostly fiction.
    We had a chance, in the 1970s to research and “fusion” nuclear energy. We are only barely hearing of it again, because Europe is doing most of the research, while other countries are experimenting. Think of star trek. Fusion power, unlike rods, leaves almost no residue. If and when we figure it out, we wont need any other form of energy.
    In short. The oil industry is not going anywhere for a long, long time. The world revolves around oil. Countless millions of people are employed in or because of the oil industry. Sure, improvements ALWAYS need to be done in the industry. The chief reason things break or blow up, is because it costs money to maintain. The phrase,” don’t stop it if it keeps working” fits adequately right here.
    happy motoring,

  5. I offer these altered Neil Diamond lyrics to Joe and others:
    FRACKLIN’ Rosie, get on board
    We’re gonna ride till there ain’t no more to go
    Taking it slow
    Lord don’t you know

  6. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Clark & readers,

    As I understand it, the technological problems in developing “fusion power” are simply gigantic. Though various countries have been building (very expensive) experimental fusion reactors for the last fifty years or so, no one has ever got more energy out of them then they have to put in to get them up and running–let alone usable energy you could distribute and sell. No short-term solutions in that direction.

    In any case, you are right. The oil industry is not going anywhere for a long time. Notice just how much of the U.S. is built, by the way, on the assumption that everyone has (and must have) a car. In the more densely populated countries of Europe (and sometimes Asia), there are often highly developed public transport systems which make doing without a car more reasonable. In the U.S., in contrast, we hardly have passenger railroad service. Philadelphia is better off in this regard, thanks to our local history with the P.R.R. and the Reading.

    H.G. Callaway

    1. H.G.
      You’re just trying to get a rise out of me. It worked.
      In the late ’60s, early ’70s, Texas and Princeton were well into fusion. When it came to much more funds from the feds, we got the p@#$ing contest, and both states lost out. France, with the help of the EU is out front. And yes, it is big bucks, but look at the reward ! We could say the same about any invention, as to the cost versus the benefit. As always, the biggest problems always have something to do with graft, corruption……………………
      Also true. The rest of the world is very much involved in public transportation. You, as a traveller, know that many parts of countries, are not built to handle cars and trucks. Think of Alfred’s Alley in old city. Ya can’t drive much down there. Plus the fact that we were nice enough to help flatten most of the world during our World Wars.
      just say’n’

      1. Philadelphia, PA

        Dear Clark,

        Yes, France is attempting to build a gigantic, commercial fusion reactor; just let me express a bit of skepticism on how this will work out. If it does, then of course, more power to them! But France is heavily invested in fission reactors, of which many in the E.U. take a very dim view indeed–especially since Chernobyl. France is also the single E.U. nuclear weapons power now, since Brexit. Germany is pledged to get rid of its nuclear power stations. There are political pressures to find an alternative … one might say?

        Its is, of course a gigantic construction project. Its a very big investment.

        H.G. Callaway

        1. H.G.,
          sorry to say – again – that greed and all of its cousins tend to destroy all possible good things. Fusion, being the topic, should have continued on right here in the U.S.. We never let a little thing like money get in the way of our achievements, unless of course, we don’t cut the money pie into enough pieces.
          All that you said about France, EU, Germany, et al. True. My problem ( one of many ) is that I don’t like progress to come from another country. Analyse that statement, before you respond. Case in point. One of my many say’n’s is” pilot error”. Meaning, literally, it’s the pilot’s fault that a plane falls out of the sky. This was very very true when the U.S. built the aircraft. When we started building elsewhere, the planes started to fall out of the sky, and not because of “pilot error”. Sure. France said that they inspected all of the Boeing A/C that was built there. I say, HA !
          Fusion. Think about the pluses of fusion vs rods. No nuclear waste. No explosions . We don’t build lousy plants, PERIOD. Control fusion, and you have a trip to mars and beyond. Look at the billions that went into the space program. That same money would have gone much further at a faster pace.
          Hopefully, our government will take a better look at the possibilities of fusion energy and reinvest in the clean, green future.

  7. You frightened me! I misread that word in the story line… you’re talking about banning FRACKING! Phew!

Comments are closed.