VP Debate 2020: AOC reminds Harris fracking 'is bad', Internet says 'it's making climate change worse'

People were left wondering how candidates, particularly Harris, could talk about not banning fracking while caring about climate change simultaneously 


                            VP Debate 2020: AOC reminds Harris fracking 'is bad', Internet says 'it's making climate change worse'
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The Vice Presidential debate on Wednesday, October 7, saw "fracking" being mentioned multiple times by both the candidates — Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris. As they argued over whether they have banned fracking in their economic plan or not, social media users were left wondering how can candidates, particularly Harris, talk about not banning fracking while caring about climate change simultaneously. 

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Fracking is the industrial process of inserting high-pressure water mixture into the earth to release natural gases inside. The process involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rocks at high pressure, resulting in gas trapped inside to flow out. The practice, however, has prompted environmental concerns as it requires using extensive amount of water, which is generally transported to the site of drilling at a significant environmental cost. Environmentalists also say that the practice can potentially release carcinogenic chemicals during drilling that could contaminate the groundwater at the site. 

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Despite the environmental concerns, both Pence and Harris were seen discussing fracking being involved in their plans. The discourse over the issue began when Pence wrongly accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of supporting an outright ban on the practice. To which Harris said, "Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact." However, her stance baffled many as they wondered whether fracking was controversial at all.

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Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, however, pointed out during the debate to Harris that the practice was in fact bad for the environment. "Fracking is bad, actually," she wrote on Twitter. Another Twitter user wrote: "You can’t say you believe in science AND brag about how you won’t ban fracking. It doesn’t work like that." A third added: "People love justifying cowardice. Fracking is polluting people’s drinking water and making climate change worse. Take off your stupid pundit hat and consider whether you appreciate living on this planet."

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A fourth wrote: "Environmentally bad or not, fracking is also a highly expensive and inefficient process, making it an unprofitable and uncommercial unless (1) oil prices are at historical highs (they are not and will not); (2) there are massive government subsidies propping it up." While another added: "One thing that can never be said enough: Fracking leaks HUGE amounts of methane, the most potent greenhouse gas. Fracking causes earthquakes and poison groundwater. 'Man camps' of workers around fracking sites commit crimes, especially against women. BAN. FRACKING."

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Both Pence and Harris had a face-off on October 7 at 9 pm ET for the first and only general election vice presidential debate of the year in Salt Lake City, Utah. The discourse was moderated by USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page and the two candidates were separated by plexiglass barriers and given a distance of 12 feet. 

During the debate, Harris repeatedly rapped Pence saying: "Mr Vice President, please let me speak" after he interrupted her multiple times. The swipe was reminiscent of the nature of the first 2020 presidential debate where President Donald Trump incessantly interrupted Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The Senator, over the topic of vaccination, said that she would be the first in line to take a vaccine for Covid-19 if medical experts recommend it but she wouldn't take it if Trump said so. Harris also slammed Pence, saying, "You respect the American people when you tell them the truth" while attacking the Trump administration over the spread of misinformation amid the pandemic.

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