One Trick Trump’s Obsession With Fracking Reeks of Desperation

Washington, D.C. — With less than two weeks to go before Election Day and as the two candidates prepare to meet for the final presidential debate, all President Trump has to offer voters on energy and climate change is more lies about fracking and false attacks on Vice President Biden’s clean energy and climate plan.

Whatever Trump thinks he is accomplishing with this single-minded focus on fracking, it’s not working. Across the battleground, Biden is leading, including in Trump’s must-win state of Pennsylvania. Just yesterday, a new CNN/SSRS poll found that Biden is enjoying a 53% to 43% lead over Trump in the Keystone State.

In interviews, on the debate stage, and even on giant screens at his super-spreader events, Trump routinely makes false claims that Biden will ban fracking and criticizes his $2 trillion clean energy infrastructure plan. At a campaign stop in Erie, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Trump attacked Biden on energy and climate two dozen times in just under an hour and played a video montage of clips to sow false doubt about Biden’s clean energy agenda.

Well, you know what they say — desperate times call for desperate measures. Unfortunately for Trump, voters are not buying these desperate lies. A Suffolk University Keystone State poll released yesterday found that fewer than 40% of voters believe Trump’s lies about Biden and fracking.

“Trump is trying to turn the election into a referendum on fracking versus clean energy and bold action on climate, which is a fight Democrats are happy to have because clean energy and climate are key issues for voters in Pennsylvania and across the country,” said Climate Power 2020 Executive Director Lori Lodes. “Whether it’s lies about fracking or false and misleading attacks on the Green New Deal about hamburgers, cars, and airplanes, voters see through this blizzard of misinformation. They see that Trump has no plan to combat the climate crisis – and that Joe Biden has a bold plan that will create millions of jobs.” 

In Pennsylvania, polling has shown that 83% of voters believe that climate change is a serious problem and are eager for candidates to embrace bold climate action. Voters in the Keystone state also support policies to further regulate or limit fracking by significant margins, including in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and are widely favorable to both environmental regulations (71% favorable/19% unfavorable) and regulations to reduce carbon emissions (71% fav/16% unfav). This includes enacting stronger regulations on fracking, which voters support by a whopping margin of +43.

And it’s not just in Pennsylvania where Trump and the GOP’s false and misleading attacks on Biden’s climate plan and the Green New Deal are falling flat with voters. According to a recent analysis of polling data released by Climate Power 2020, a majority of voters prefer pro-climate policies, support Biden’s plan to have 100% clean electricity by 2035, and invest $2 trillion in clean energy infrastructure.

Not only were these findings consistent in a number of very different states across the battleground, including Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, and South Carolina, but echoed in a poll conducted last week by The New York Times/Siena College. This poll found that 66% of voters support Biden’s $2 trillion clean energy plan, compared to only 26% that oppose it. By contrast, fracking was favored by just 44% of voters.

It remains to be seen if Trump shifts tactics during tonight’s final debate, or continues to alienate voters going into Election Day with his lies about fracking, his refusal to believe in science or listen to experts, and his failure to articulate a plan to voters on how he’ll deal with a climate crisis that is upending daily life across the country.