Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Thursday said he’s committed to not raising money from fossil fuel executives, at a fundraiser that had been co-hosted by the founder of a natural gas company.
“I just want to be very clear to everyone here: I am committed to not raising money from fossil fuel executives, and I am not doing that tonight,” Mr. Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner, said at a Manhattan fundraiser, according to a pool report of the event. “Climate change presents an existential threat, and it is real. … I’m so tired of having a president who picks fiction over science.”
Mr. Biden told the crowd that there have been “tensions” surrounding the event. As of Thursday afternoon, Andrew Goldman, the co-founder of Western LNG, was still considered a co-host of the fundraiser.
“Folks, I know there’s been a lot of tensions paid to yours showing up tonight. More than I think you anticipated,” Mr. Biden said.
He had been asked about attending the fundraiser at a CNN town hall event on Wednesday, given Mr. Goldman’s ties to the natural gas industry.
Mr. Biden had said he would look into it, and that Mr. Goldman isn’t listed as an executive with the company in federal filings.
“He’s not a fossil fuel executive,” Mr. Biden had said on Wednesday.
On Thursday, a small group of environmentalists showed up outside the apartment of investor Andrew Solomon chanting, “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side,” but dispersed by the time the event wrapped up, according to the pool report.
“The fact of the matter is last night there was a discussion and I think a mild misrepresentation of what was going on relative to climate,” Mr. Biden said, though it wasn’t clear exactly what he meant and he didn’t mention Mr. Goldman’s name in his speech.
Mr. Biden wants to get the U.S. to net-zero emissions by 2050, and without naming names suggested other candidates’ plans were unrealistic.
“You have to have plans, but you have to be able to execute those plans,” he said.
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