DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s policy to transition from the oil industry is now in the national spotlight.
Texas Republican Party Chair retired Lt. Col. Allen West called the former Vice President’s comments during Thursday night’s debate “a bombshell.”
West said, “I don’t think it’s going to help him.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa disagreed, saying Biden’s position won’t hurt his chances in Texas. “No, not at all.”
Toward the end of their second and final debate, the former Vice President and President Donald Trump butted heads over the energy industry.
The President asked Biden, “Would you close down the oil industry?”
He responded, “I would transition from the oil industry, yes.”
The President said, “Oh, that’s a big statement.”
The former Vice President agreed. “That is a big statement.”
Asked by the moderator why he would do that, Mr. Biden said, “Because the oil industry pollutes significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.”
The former Vice President said he wants to end federal subsidies for the oil industry.
President Trump replied, “That’s maybe the biggest statement in terms of business because basically he’s saying he’s going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that Texas? Will you remember that Pennsylvania? Oklahoma, Ohio?”
The former Vice President responded, “He takes everything out of context. But the point is we have to move toward a net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 in energy production, by 2050 totally.”
Mr. Biden has said he would ban fracking on federal lands.
West, the Texas GOP Chair, said that’s a troubling position. “Joe Biden is on record, on video saying he would stop fracking, so that is a big concern for the economy of Texas, which is the 10th largest economy in the world and also considering the fact of American being energy independent.”
Hinojosa though said Biden is right about transitioning from the oil industry. “Let’s be honest about this. I mean, there is no question that unless we start weaning ourselves from fossil fuels, we are going to destroy this planet. this planet will not be livable in 100 years.”
On Friday, both Governor Greg Abbott and Senator John Cornyn, who’s in a battle against Democrat MJ Hegar to hold onto his seat this year, sharply criticized Biden’s statements, saying under that policy, 430,000 jobs in the state could be eliminated.
Hinojosa said jobs will be created with the transition to more renewable energy sources.
The President leads Biden in the Real Clear Politics average of polls by four percentage points in Texas.
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