Pennsylvania Democrat Senate candidate John Fetterman defended a pledge from failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” — which should be concerning for Pennsylvanians, considering coal supports thousands of jobs in the state.
Fetterman, who recently tried to walk back his past attacks on the fossil fuel industry, claimed in February 2020 that the criticism of Clinton’s comment was “unfair” — and said that she had just “articulated it in a way that was taken out of context,” according to a WHYY’s Radio Times interview that was uncovered by the Republican National Committee’s research team.
Unfortunately for the Democrat candidate, the exact quote from Clinton contradicts his claims that she was taken out of context.
“We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Clinton said, referring to transitioning the U.S. away from fossil fuels — a policy position that Fetterman has pledged support for as well.
In 2018, Fetterman stated that he “would be proud to be at the tip of that spear” in transitioning Pennsylvania away from fossil fuels and toward “green and renewable sources.”
Democrat Senate candidate John Fetterman: "I would be proud to be at the tip of that spear" in transitioning Pennsylvania away from fossil fuels. pic.twitter.com/GIaCHr2WpK
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 26, 2022
The Pennsylvania Democrat’s ardent defense of Clinton’s vow to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” is especially concerning considering the fact that nearly 18,000 jobs are supported by coal in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance.
Fetterman has a long history of attacking the fossil fuel industry.
“I support a moratorium on fracking in PA until we get an extraction tax, and the strictest enviro regulations in this country,” he said in 2016.
I support a moratorium on fracking in PA until we get an extraction tax, and the strictest enviro regulations in this country. #DemDebate
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) March 7, 2016
Fetterman reiterated his position in 2018, stating: “I don’t support fracking at all, and I never have. And I’ve, I’ve signed the no fossil fuels money pledge. I have never received a dime from any natural gas or oil company whatsoever.”
Despite these past statements, the Democrat candidate — who had a stroke in May and has been suffering from an auditory processing disorder as a result — claimed to support fracking during a debate on Tuesday evening.
“I do support fracking. I support fracking,” Fetterman claimed. “And I stand and I do support fracking.”
Fetterman is asked about previously saying he wanted to eliminate fracking:
"I support fracking and I don't I support fracking and I stand and I do support fracking." pic.twitter.com/JWE20t3kWi
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 26, 2022
His confusing comments came as he was debating his Republican challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz, with the aid of closed captioning — which transcribed the words of the moderators and his opponent — due to his inability to comprehend them as a result of his auditory processing disorder. Fetterman also appeared to have difficulty speaking throughout the debate.
Following Fetterman’s disastrous performance in the debate, betting odds moved 20 points in favor of Oz — with Election Day less than two weeks away.