Oklahoma Democrat Rejects Biden’s Promise to ‘Transition’ Away from Oil Industry

Zachary Evans
·2 min read

Representative Kendra Horn (D., Ok.) immediately distanced herself from Joe Biden’s claim during the Thursday presidential debate that he would “transition” away from the oil industry.

Towards the end of the debate, President Trump challenged Biden to say whether or not he would go after the oil industry.

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden responded. “It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time….And I’d stop giving to the oil industry—I’d stop giving them federal subsidies. [Trump] won’t give federal subsidies to solar and wind. Why are we giving it to the oil industry?”

Biden campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield attempted to clarify that the former vice president only wants to end federal subsidies for the oil and gas industry, not eliminate it entirely. However, Representative Horn stated that she did not concur with Biden’s initial comments.

“Here’s one of the places Biden and I disagree. We must stand up for our oil and gas industry,” Horn wrote on Twitter about half an hour after Biden made his remarks. “We need an all-of-the-above energy approach that’s consumer friendly, values energy independence, and protects [Oklahoma] jobs.”

Horn also touted an endorsement from Steven C. Agee, dean of the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University and former president of an oil and gas exploration company.

Horn narrowly defeated Republican Steve Russell in 2018 and became the first Democrat to represent Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district since 1975. The district itself encompasses Oklahoma City, and its voters largely backed Donald Trump in the 2016 elections.

The Chamber of Commerce, the powerful Washington, D.C.-based business lobby, has also given its endorsement to Horn. The endorsement drew surprise and condemnation from Republicans.

“I question how the U.S. Chamber could endorse a candidate who consistently voted against the largest industry in Oklahoma, employing over 90,000 workers throughout the state,” State Chamber of Oklahoma President Chad Warmington wrote in an August letter to the lobby. Warmington was apparently referring to the oil industry.

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