Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M., pushed back Thursday night after her party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said he would pursue policies that would “transition from the oil industry” if elected to office.
When asked about his approach to energy policy during the final presidential debate, Biden said he would end federal subsidies and pursue a transition “because the oil industry pollutes significantly.” He added that oil “has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.”
Biden’s remarks drew a rebuke from Torres Small, who serves in New Mexico’s second congressional district and is currently seeking reelection.
“I disagree with VP Biden’s statement tonight,” Torres Small wrote on Twitter. “Energy is part of the backbone of New Mexico’s economy. We need to work together to promote responsible energy production and stop climate change, not demonize a single industry.”
“I will continue to stand up to my party when they’re out of touch with the reality on the ground in #NM02,” she added.
Biden’s energy plan calls for the U.S. to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The former vice president said he would halt the issuing of new oil and gas permits on federal land, but would not revoke existing permits or end fracking conducted on private or state-owned land.
Trump seized on his remarks during the debate.
“Basically what he is saying is he is going to destroy the oil industry,” Trump said. “Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?
Biden attempted to clarify his policy toward the oil industry while speaking with reporters on Friday.
“We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels,” Biden said. “We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”