During the final presidential debate in Nashville last Thursday, the candidates debated on clean energy and fossil fuels. Trump was put to task to defend his policies in regards to continued fossil fuel explorations. He cited the economic impacts of fossil fuels, arguing that the country needs fossil fuels to compete economically against global competitors such as China. While an argument for fossil fuels might not be what you expect in the modern age, Trump seemed focused on short-term economic gains as opposed to a safer environment. Meanwhile, Biden discussed his climate plan and a move toward renewable energy sources.
Trump even went ahead to dismiss other sources of energy, such as wind and solar energy, despite the fact that they have been backed by scientists and economists globally. His argument was that wind power causes more emissions through the manufacturing of turbines. With the focus back on the economy, he argued that solar power technology is not sufficient to run the industries in our country, which is not true. “I love solar, but solar doesn’t quite have it yet … to really run our big, beautiful factories,” Trump said.
While Democrats have openly opposed the extension of fossil fuel exploration, Joe Biden had not stated an intention to put an end to fracking. But Biden had to clear up the matter during the debate, explaining that he intends to increase regulations to capture emissions from fracking. Further, Biden said there would be “no fracking on federal land,” if he is elected.
According to Biden, embracing green energy is not equal to economic collapse. Biden referred to his $2 trillion plan, which will focus on generating clean energy, enhancing electric car manufacturing and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions over the next four years.
“This plan has been endorsed by every major environmental group and every labor group,” Biden said.
He further called out Trump for jeopardizing the lives of people of color in states such as Texas by allowing oil and chemical companies to explore areas around their residences. While Trump argued that such companies provide economic empowerment by offering jobs, Biden countered that what the people need is their health first. Biden said, “It doesn’t matter what you’re paying them. It matters how you keep them safe.”
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