Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden’s plan to “outlaw oil” would lay waste to the state’s economy, pulling billions of dollars from schools and eliminating nearly 430,000 jobs.
Mr. Abbott and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, both Republicans, said in a joint statement that Mr. Biden would “destroy Texas’ economy” by phasing out fossil fuels, citing the Democrat’s pledge at Thursday’s presidential debate to “transition from the oil industry.”
“When Joe Biden says he would transition America away from oil, what he really means is that he would transition hundreds of thousands of Texans away from their paycheck and deny Texas students access to a quality education, both in Texas public schools and in our state universities,” said the statement.
Mr. Biden sought afterward to clarify his comments, telling reporters on the tarmac before boarding a plane back to Delaware that “we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels,” at least not until about 2050.
“We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels. We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time … probably 2050,” the former vice president said, as shown on video.
The Texas Republicans said Mr. Biden’s “call to outlaw oil is a gift to his far-left base and liberal donors that comes at the expense of nearly 430,000 Texans who work in the oil and gas industry and the millions of Texas students who would suffer under this radical plan.”
“The Biden plan would effectively defund Texas schools and universities by billions of dollars, hurting Texas students, parents and teachers and setting our education system back for generations,” Mr. Abbott and Mr. Cornyn said.
The oil-and-gas business represents one of the biggest industries in Texas, which sits atop the shale-rich Permian Basin and has enjoyed an oil boom in recent years fueled by hydraulic fracturing.
President Trump has blasted the plan, noting that the nation reached U.S. energy independence in 2019 for the first time since 1957, and that U.S. emissions declined last year by 2.9%, the largest such decrease in the world, according to the International Energy Agency.
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