WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — No doubt about it, the future of energy is one of the marquee issues in this presidential race. Should the United States continue to rely on fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas? Or is the nation’s future directed to reliance on renewable energy like wind and solar? Voters we spoke with had mixed opinions on the question.
It was one of the most intense exchanges in Thursday’s presidential debate…
“The greatest economy in the world, but if you want to kill the economy, get rid of your oil industry, you want. And what about fracking. Now we have to ask him about fracking,” said President Trump.
Moderator: “Let me allow Vice President Biden to respond.”
Joe Biden: “I never said I oppose fracking.”
President Trump: “You said it on tape.”
Joe Biden: “…We need other industries to transition to get to, ultimately, a complete zero emissions by 2025. What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking, capture the emissions from gas, we can do that. And we can do that by investing money and doing it but it’s a transition to that.”
And it prompted reaction across the nation and our region. Eyewitness News spoke with George Stark, spokesperson for Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation.
“I firmly feel that you need both and you can do both very well and that is where we really need to be making certain that we’re looking at the natural gas industry, making certain that their workers are provided for because we are employing hundreds of folks in the area, you know? Overall it’s probably more than a thousand.”
Scott Cannon is an environmental activist.
“I think the democrats are missing the argument of the environmental issues of fracking. Trump is saying jobs, jobs, jobs. While that’s good we can have jobs, jobs, jobs and a clean environment energy sector and have jobs and clean up our environment at the same time.”
We found mixed opinions about the issue as people lined up to vote in-person in Luzerne County.
“We need to transition out of fossil fuels. I agree with that. I mean, people need to move forward. They need to move and get clean energy for everyone,” said Janet Desermo of Kingston.
“Although I think the windmills and the solar is really good, and I’m into that climate change thing, I just think we have to really realize we need oil and gas,” said Jim Connors of Jenkins Township.
Other voters tell me they believe there should be a balance with reliance on all forms of energy.
Other hot topics at the debate — healthcare reform, national security and interference from foreign powers in our elections.