Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden drew criticism from the Trump campaign for inviting pop star Lady Gaga to his rally in Pittsburgh on Monday night despite her past stance against fracking.
In a scathing press release, the Trump campaign noted that Lady Gaga had shared a link to the group “Artists against Fracking” on her Facebook page in 2012. Gaga was one of dozens of artists who joined the coalition, founded by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon-Ono, which sought to stop New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from allowing fracking in the state. The organization’s website has since gone inactive.
“Nothing exposes Joe Biden’s disdain for the forgotten working men and women of Pennsylvania like campaigning with anti-fracking activist Lady Gaga,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement. “This desperate effort to drum up enthusiasm for his lackluster candidacy is actually a sharp stick in the eye for 600,000 Pennsylvanians who work in the fracking industry.”
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Fracking has emerged as a key point of contention in Pennsylvania, with President Trump arguing that Biden will pursue a ban of the practice and cost workers in the local energy sector their jobs. Biden has denied seeking a ban and said he would halt the issuing of new oil and gas permits on federal land, but would not revoke existing permits or stop fracking conducted on private or state-owned land.
Trump addressed Gaga’s appearance on Biden’s behalf on Twitter.
“Just learned that Sleepy Joe Biden is campaigning in Pennsylvania with Lady Gaga, a proud member of “Artists Against Fracking,” Trump wrote. “This is more proof that he would ban Fracking and skyrocket your energy prices…”
Gaga fired back at the Trump campaign’s criticism, quote-tweeting Murtaugh’s post and writing that she was “glad to be living rent free in your head.”
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“Also, what is a fracking? Keep your jobs PA….,” she wrote in a separate video message.
Trump has stepped up his criticism of Biden’s energy policies since the final presidential debate, when the former vice president acknowledged that he would pursue a “transition” from fossil fuels “because the oil industry pollutes significantly.” His energy plan calls for the U.S. to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“Basically what he is saying is he is going to destroy the oil industry,” Trump said in response during the debate. “Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?