“Democrats’ Fracking War Heats Up As 2020 Voting Begins”

“As Bernie Sanders pushes a fracking ban and Joe Biden warns against abandoning it, the industry faces its own problems.”

“Democrats are drilling down on opposite sides of the fracking divide, widening a schism between the party’s climate-concerned progressive wing and centrists who fear a hard-line stance against fossil fuels risks ceding critical swing states to President Donald Trump.

As Iowa caucusgoers cast the first votes of the 2020 primary contest on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who an aggregation of polls showed leading in the state in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, unveiled the first-ever federal bill to phase out fracking nationwide. It calls for instituting a complete ban on the drilling technique by 2025. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.) joined Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to co-sponsor the legislation.

In December, former Vice President Joe Biden, the leader in an aggregation of  national polls in the Democratic race, told activists in Iowa that “you can’t ban fracking right now” and, if that’s what they wanted, they “ought to vote for someone else.” On Sunday, Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) published a letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal praising the centrist favorite for his opposition to banning fracking.”

Alexander C. Kaufman reports for HuffPost February 3, 2020.