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Sustainable Election 2022 - PA U.S. Senate Race

Laws and policies that promote sustainability would help grow our economy, create jobs, improve quality of life in our communities, make us healthier, reduce risks to our national security, and improve the lives of the poorest among us. Widener Law Commonwealth's Environmental Law and Sustainability Center provides this information on the candidates’ sustainability positions in the spirit of public service, to help voters make informed decisions. 

Issue: Fetterman: Oz:

Green Jobs and Green Business
“In the Senate, I will support legislation that combats high gas prices, invests in upgrading infrastructure, and responsibly transitions us to cleaner energy sources. We must make proper investments in greener, cleaner technology in America — and make more of that technology right here at home. I have never taken a dime from the fossil fuel industry, and I never will. So you can be assured that any vote I take when it comes to energy production and climate will be what I believe is right — not what fossil fuel executives tell me to do.”  SOURCE “Pennsylvania is a leader in the production of natural gas and coal. The Biden Administration has launched an attack on the energy industry stifling domestic energy production and weakening the U.S. position in energy production. These attacks have resulted in skyrocketing gas and energy prices and made our current energy options less reliable. Dr. Oz will work to overturn these heavy-handed regulations that are hurting Pennsylvania jobs and our local communities.”   SOURCE
Investment in Environmental Infrastructure Fetterman supported the passage of the   Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which included provisions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through grants and tax incentives.  Fetterman called the measure a “common-sense proposal” that will benefit working Pennsylvanians.   SOURCE

“This critical bill will reduce the budget deficit, …make huge strides in dealing with climate change, and invest in more American energy across the board,” Fetterman said.  SOURCE
“As a scientist, I’ll tell you the Green New Deal is a lie,” said Oz, who is a medical doctor, not a climate scientist. He was referring to what is little more than a loose set of guiding principles to combat global climate change. “It’s not just unfair because we’re sacrificing our energy independence. Actually, we want more than energy independence, we want energy dominance.”   SOURCE
Clean Energy Fetterman does not support a fracking ban.  “But what I hope we do, is we make it so that it becomes there is eventually a de facto moratorium because the transition is going to be toward green and renewable energy,” he said.  SOURCE

Fetterman pledged not to accept fossil fuel money.  Fetterman has signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, under which candidates vow not to accept more than $200 from executives, lobbyists or PACs connected to the oil, gas or coal industries.“ I never have and never will take a dime from the fossil fuel industry,” Fetterman, who signed a similar pledge in his 2018 lieutenant governor run, said.  SOURCE

Fetterman has pledged to "protect the livelihood of natural gas workers." He has also shouted out the labor unions that built and maintain the state's energy sector.  "I've always said Republicans need to be honest about climate change, and Democrats need to be honest about energy and energy security," Fetterman said. SOURCE
“Dr. Oz has always supported hydraulic fracturing and a strong domestic energy industry, especially in Pennsylvania where we have clean, natural gas right under our feet that will guarantee high paying, skilled jobs and deliver energy security.”  SOURCE

“It's time to unleash American energy. Joe Biden needs to reopen federal lands for the responsible development of coal, oil, gas, and renewable energy. Vladimir Putin is terrified of American energy independence.”  SOURCE

“I believe we can have an all-of-the-above energy policy,” said Oz. “It would help our communities and our countries reduce our energy costs.”  SOURCE

“If we were to use our natural gas right here, from under our feet, and use it to replace dirty coal from overseas manufacturers, it would be the equivalent of electrifying every U.S. car, plus putting a solar panel on every roof, plus doubling wind energy production — all together.”  SOURCE 

“I believe we can ensure energy can be taken out of the ground without hurting the environment. It makes everyone fruitful, including local communities …”   SOURCE
“In Pennsylvania, there are multiple reports of air and water contamination, possibly from hydraulic fracturing sites, causing folks breathing problems, rashes, headaches, nosebleeds, numbness, nausea and vomiting,” he wrote in 2014, advocating for a moratorium on fracking as New York state has.   SOURCE
Sustainable Agriculture Fetterman supports a right-to-repair law for farmers, which would give them the right to repair their own equipment and end current restrictions in the repair market.  “Supporting rural Pennsylvania, including our commonwealth’s 53,000 farms, has always been one of my top priorities, especially when I can help our small farms thrive. That’s why for me, it’s long past time that the federal government enact broad right-to-repair laws in Pennsylvania and nationwide.”  SOURCE Oz told a group of more than two dozen Erie County farmers that he'll work to roll back "rules that don't make sense" and push for energy policies that can help not only the state's oil and gas companies but also the agricultural industry.   SOURCE

Climate Change Fetterman stressed the danger of climate change in his first electoral campaign for mayor of Braddock in 2009.  “With a smart, economically-viable carbon cap policy in place, communities like Braddock, that suffered so badly during the collapse of the steel mills, can begin to build its manufacturing and middle class back up,” he says. “This whole notion that we can continue to operate as we have been and ignore climate change is ludicrous.”  SOURCE

“I believe that climate change is an existential threat, and we need to transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. But we must do it in a way that preserves the union way of life for the thousands of workers currently employed or supported by the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania and the communities where they live. We need to make sure that as we transition we honor and uphold the union way of life for workers across Pennsylvania, and create thousands of good-paying union jobs in clean energy in the process.”  SOURCE 
Oz has declared that ““carbon dioxide is not a climate problem because it accounts for just a small fraction of the air in Earth’s atmosphere, a longtime talking point of climate change deniers.”   SOURCE

Environmental Protection
Fetterman supported cap-and-trade policies in 2007 and appeared in DC at a Senate Hearing on the issue. SOURCE Oz, advocates more hydraulic fracturing in the gas-heavy state and has castigated President Joe Biden’s energy policies as dangerously anti-fossil fuels.   SOURCE
COVID-19 Fetterman has said that the rush of Covid cases, "is heartbreaking because I know there is a percentage of those that are going to end up on the intensive care unit. And then there's a percentage of those that are going to end up on a ventilator. And then a percentage of those that are going to be lead to an empty chair, whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas and it's doesn't have to go that way. I don't say this as a Democrat I say this as a Pennsylvania and I say this as someone who's got someone in my life that is particularly vulnerable to this virus. I say this as someone who's had family members die from COVID. We just need to remember this is the enemy and we need to mask up. We need to avoid these gatherings and we have to practice social distancing."    SOURCE “Dr. Oz is a world-class heart surgeon who holds numerous patents and has written hundreds of original peer reviewed publications. He knows the truth, the data, and the science about combatting COVID and understands how it really affects you and your family. While elites with yards tell those without yards to stay inside (where the virus was waiting) and mask up, Dr. Oz has been putting his expertise to work on behalf of us. Dr. Oz is opposed to prolonged business shutdowns, and he believes it is critical to keep our children in school because the science overwhelmingly supports it.”   SOURCE
Racial Justice During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Lt. Governor Fetterman chaired a Task Force on racial disparities in health outcomes for minorities in the state.  “I just want to thank this diverse Task Force and group of stakeholders who gave such important insight towards the creation of this report,” he said.  “With 57 specific policy recommendations, I believe that this report will be beneficial in policy development to help end the health disparities in our marginalized communities, which have been so vastly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”  SOURCE “The effects of systemic racism have long been prevalent in the medical field, creating disparities in the health outcomes of black people – and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these disparities.”  SOURCE

“Our country is better because of our freedoms, our unity, and our equality.”   SOURCE

"My life is a living testimony to the American dream.  I want everyone to have that, and I don't want that getting squandered away."   SOURCE

The Center does not endorse any particular candidates, and no endorsement should be implied. In addition, the Center does not endorse or affirm the accuracy of any statements made by any candidate about matters of fact. Research and writing for the candidates’ positions was done by Alexis Rostucher, Lindsay A Williamson, Andrew Wuerz, and Jacob Yarmey, students at Widener Law Commonwealth.