US President Donald Trump carried out a debate with his rival Joe Biden about the closing of the oil industry.
Biden aides on Friday said he had been talking about ending fossil fuel subsidies, not the industry itself when he spoke of a “transition” from oil.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden again attacked Mr. Trump’s handling of coronavirus, saying: “He’s quit on America.”
During the last debate of the presidential election, Mr. Trump asked his challenger, “Would you close down the oil industry?” “I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” responded Mr. Biden, adding, “Because the oil industry pollutes significantly”.
Mr. Biden said fossil fuels had to be replaced by renewable energy over time with the US moving towards net-zero emissions.
Democrats from the left of the party are enthused by the idea of the US ending its reliance on oil and gas as part of the fight against climate change.
On the other hand, Mr. Biden’s aides released a statement after the debate saying that Mr. Biden planned to phase out taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel companies, not the industry altogether.
The Democrat himself sought to clarify his remarks by saying fossil fuels would not be eliminated until 2050.
Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris addressed the controversy on Friday while on the campaign trail in the US state of Georgia.
“Let’s be really clear about this,” said the California senator. “Joe Biden is not going to ban fracking. He is going to deal with the oil subsidies.
“You know, the president likes to take everything out of context.
“But let’s be clear, what Joe was talking about was banning subsidies, but he will not ban fracking in America.”
Fracking tycoon Harold Hamm, a Trump supporter and founder of Continental Resources Inc, told the Wall Street Journal that restricting oil and gas production would lead to higher petrol prices and energy scarcity.
“If Biden gets in, consumers lose,” Mr. Hamm said.