President Biden reiterated his promise that his administration will "not ban fracking" in an address Wednesday, alluding to GOP concerns that his climate-forward administration could be economically devastating.
"Let me be clear, and I know this always comes up, we're not going to ban fracking," the president said from the White House.
Biden as president has issued moratoriums on new oil and natural gas leases on public lands, offshore drilling sites, and federal lands for 60 days.
His latest executive order prevents any new fracking opportunities on federal lands but will allow existing sites to continue operation.
But some GOP lawmakers remain skeptical, including Sen. Ted Cruz, a staunch Republican from the oil-rich state of Texas.
Cruz took issue with the new administration last week, after Biden put his first 60-day drilling pause on federal lands.
"Who could possibly have predicted this?" Cruz wrote on Twitter.
Republicans remain wary of Biden’s stance on fracking, in large part because of his mixed messages regarding the subject from the campaign trail.
Biden vowed to not instate an outright ban on fracking as the election drew nearer, but his position was not always crystal clear – an issue President Trump repeatedly brought up on the campaign trail.
Biden claimed that he "never said I oppose fracking," when pressed by Trump during an October presidential debate.
But during a 2019 primary debate, he said he "would make sure it's eliminated" when asked about coal and fracking.
In 2020, he later clarified that he was opposed to "new fracking" -- though that was not explicitly laid out in his intended presidential plans. Instead, those plans proposed "banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters."
While Biden’s stance was unclear to begin with on whether he would outright ban fracking, he made it understood that he would "transition" the U.S. away from oil and gas.
"Because the oil industry pollutes significantly," Biden said during an October debate.
"I will transition from the oil industry," Biden affirmed.
Republicans became more concerned for the oil and gas industry after Biden chose Kamala Harris to serve as his vice president, as she explicitly stated she was in favor of a fracking ban.
Before Harris dropped out of the presidential race in 2019, she told a voter during a town hall event that, "There’s no question I'm in favor of banning fracking."
She then came under fire after the October vice presidential debate, when former vice president Mike Pence claimed the Biden administration would "want to abolish fossil fuels and ban fracking."
Harris pushed back telling Pence, "Joe Biden will not end fracking ... he has been very clear about that," she added.
Critics have claimed the Biden-Harris administration were contradictory and indecisive when it came to job security in the oil and gas industry.
Though Harris has never rescinded her personal stance on banning fracking, she has reiterated Biden’s stance.
Biden sought to address GOP concerns over job stability in his Wednesday address, telling the nation he intends to grow jobs through with his climate-forward policies.
"We’ll protect jobs and grow jobs, including through stronger standards like controls from methane leaks and union workers willing to install the changes," Biden said.