The Truth About Biden’s Fracking Claims Is That He’s Consistently Inconsistent

A small hullabaloo is brewing today concerning presidential politics, energy, internet searching and that newly-elusive concept: truth. This stems from an exchange at the end of last Thursday’s presidential debate when Biden claimed he had never called for a ban on fracking and President Donald Trump insisted that he had. Now, some people are unhappy that YouTube is labeling search results related to Vice President Joe Biden and Fracking with a so-called fact check and then seemingly providing a curated list of results.  

 YouTube shouldn’t be getting involved in this. Regardless of one’s views on internet fact checks or curated searches or political involvement of Big Tech, YouTube is trying to pass a judgement about a key issue for the energy industry, which it does not understand. YouTube, a social media video platform, has no understanding of what Biden’s inconsistent statements mean for that industry or the states in which it operates. 

 Biden has actually been wildly inconsistent about his plans regarding fracking and fossil fuel production in general. Even CNN (no backer of Trump’s) produced its own fact check the day after the debate saying that, in fact, Biden’s claim that he never said wanted to ban fracking was false. But fact checks are of limited value. What is important is that if Biden wins, he and his team are setting up the domestic energy industry for some tough times ahead based on the inconsistencies and contradictions of their statements.

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Business thrives on rule of law and a reliable system. If Biden’s team cannot inform the industry what they would be dealing with under a Biden administration, then they are creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust. This means a halt or delay to investment. It means businesses won’t hire, and they may lay off workers even before a potential negative regulation is broached. Businesses will get nervous and operate on shoestring budgets, unsure about the future. 

Some oil companies, concerned that the Biden administration might ban new fracking on federal lands, have been rushing to secure permits for future drilling in the event that Biden is elected. This taking place at a time when oil companies would probably prefer not to have spend money on these leases, since oil prices are down significantly. Uncertainty about Biden’s plans for the energy industry is driving this behavior.

The list of inconsistent statements from Biden himself and from his team is long. His team now includes Senator Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, both of whom are main sponsors of the Green New Deal which would devastate domestic fossil fuel production. The CNN article mentioned above lists some of Biden’s inconsistencies on the matter. This column has written about other varied policies and inconsistencies from Biden and his team here, here, here, here and here. Even in Thursday’s debate, Biden was inconsistent. He said he would not ban fracking, and then, just a minute or so later, he said he would, “transition away from the oil industry.” 

The problem with the inconsistencies and contradictions coming from Biden and his team is that industry and many voters are left to expect the worst. Biden may think that he is pleasing everyone, but he is also upsetting everyone. Uncertainty and inconsistency is the worst policy and is no way to maintain a successful energy industry. Maybe YouTube should note that in its fact check.

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