- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 31, 2020

President Trump on Saturday announced to a rally crowd in Pennsylvania that he had signed an order to protect the state from a ban on fracking.

He said it was an insurance policy against the anti-energy agenda of Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

"In other words, if one of these maniacs come along and they say we’re going to end fracking [and] they’re destroying the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you can say something about that," he told the rally in Butler, a town north of Pittsburgh with hundreds of natural gas wells.

Mr. Trump said he signed the order aboard Marine One as he helicoptered to Butler, his third of four stops Saturday in Pennsylvania.

The order, details of which were not immediately provided by the White House, was more of a gesture for Pennsylvania’s energy sector than long-term protection against a ban. If Mr. Biden takes the White House, he could rescind Mr. Trump‘s order.

The left’s push to end fracking or hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting oil and gas from shale, is a top issue in the Pennsylvania battleground where it supports between 20,000 and 50,000 jobs.

Mr. Biden said he will not ban fracking except on federal lands, but he has promised to "transition from the oil industry" and cut fossil fuel emission 50% by 2035 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

At the rally, Mr. Trump showed a video on a Jumbotron of Mr. Biden at various times pledging to do away with fracking or fossil fuels. Mr. Trump also warned of a Biden double-whammy of higher taxes and energy restrictions, which not only cost jobs but increase the cost of gasoline and electricity.

"Biden‘s plan is an economic death sentence for Pennsylvania," the president said. "He will outlaw fracking and eradicate your great economy."

Mr. Trump said the election Tuesday was "a choice between a Biden depression and a Trump boom."

Pennsylvania helped seal Mr. Trump‘s upset win in 2016 when he put the state in the GOP column for the first time since 1988. This year, the Keystone State is ground zero in the race and Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden both are lavishing attention on its voters.

Mr. Trump is pushing to drive up turnout from his army of small-town and rural voters, while Mr. Biden strives to big numbers in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and its suburbs.

"A vote for Biden-Harris is a vote to ban fracking, ban money and completely destroy Pennsylvania. Otherwise, he’s not that bad," Mr. Trump said. "A vote for me is a vote to remain energy independent and build the strongest economy in the history of your state or your country."

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