The plurality of voters in key battleground states in the Rust Belt support fracking as a means of increasing oil and natural gas production in the United States, according to The Epoch Times’ Rust Belt Poll.
More than 39 percent of likely and registered voters in the Rust Belt states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin support fracking, more than 33 percent oppose it, and 27 percent are undecided, according to the poll.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has said he would ban all “oil drilling or gas drilling on federal lands,” a plan which one by one estimate results in the loss of 1 million jobs. President Donald Trump supports fracking.
Fracking is a common term for hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting oil and gas from parts of the earth’s crust inaccessible by conventional drilling methods.
Trump has suggested that Biden would ban all fracking, which is an exaggeration of Biden’s current proposal for a limited ban on federal lands.
“Biden—he wants to end fracking, end petroleum products—end petroleum. No natural gas, no nothing. End everything. And that’s it. How does that work in Texas? How does that work in Pennsylvania?” Trump said at an event in Virginia on Aug. 21.
The president was likely referring to the potential future prospects for the fracking industry under Biden’s overall energy plan, which calls for all of America’s electricity to be produced without carbon emissions and for a rapid, government-subsidized transition to electric cars. Biden claims his plan would create 1 million jobs.
“I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again. I am not banning fracking, no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me,” Biden said during a speech in western Pennsylvania, home to one of the world’s largest natural gas deposits.
Support for fracking is split among ideological lines. More than 65 percent of conservatives support it, compared to 15.6 percent of liberals.
The Rust Belt states will likely play a crucial role in determining the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 3. Rust Belt voters surveyed for The Epoch Times poll favor Biden (46.7 percent) over Trump (40.7 percent).
Environmental activists say fracking can pollute underground aquifers, an assertion the industry says is overblown. The drilling technology has seen a surge in domestic oil and gas production, upsetting groups concerned about climate change but trumpeted by others as a win for U.S. energy security, reducing reliance on oil from the Middle East.
Reuters contributed to this report.