“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said during last night’s debate with President Donald Trump in response to a question from his opponent.

“Would he close down the oil industry?” Trump asked Biden, as quoted by the National Review. “Would you close down the oil industry?”

To this, President Trump’s opponent mentioned his plan for a transition away from oil, to which Trump said, “That’s a big statement.”

“It is a big statement, because…the oil industry pollutes, significantly,” Biden responded. “It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.”

“And I’d stop giving to the oil industry—I’d stop giving them federal subsidies,” the Democratic candidate continued. “[Trump] won’t give federal subsidies to solar and wind. Why are we giving it to the oil industry?”

“Basically what he is saying is he is going to destroy the oil industry,” Trump said in response, as quoted by the AP. “Will you remember that, Texas? Pennsylvania? Oklahoma? Ohio?”

Pennsylvania is especially important for this election. A significant gas producer, the state could swing the election result, which is why it has drawn the pointed attention of both candidates. Earlier this month, it was in Pennsylvania that Trump said Biden planned to ban fracking—the source of Pennsylvania’s gas wealth. Biden has denied he had plans to ban anything, saying he would close federal lands for oil and gas production.

After last night’s debate, the Democratic candidate told reporters he had no plans to ban fossil fuels as a whole, adding that the phaseout he had referred to during the debate would take “a long time”.

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The energy aspect of the two candidates’ platforms is a delicate one. Although polls suggest the majority of Americans are concerned about climate change, there are Democratic states that rely on oil and gas production for their livelihood.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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