During Joe Biden's town hall with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Thursday, the former vice president said Boilermakers Local 154, located in Pittsburgh, endorsed him. The union, however, said that's the furthest thing from the truth.
From the transcript (via ABC News):
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now you said you don't want to ban fracking. As you know it's an important issue here in Pennsylvania, not everyone buys your denial. A member of the Boilermakers Local 154 Sean Stephanie was quoted in the New York Times today saying, "You can't have it both ways," he says, "You can't meet your goal to end fossil fuels without ending fracking," what do you say to people like Sean who doubt your denial because they think you want to keep that promise --
BIDEN: I'm telling the Boilermakers overwhelmingly endorse me, OK, so the Boilermakers Union has endorsed me because I sat down with them and went into great detail earlier to show their leadership exactly what I would do, number one. Number two, what I would do is I would stop making -- I would stop giving tax breaks and subsidizing oil.
We don't need to subsidize oil any longer, number one. We should stop that. It'd save billions of dollars overtime. What I would also do with regard to -- there's no -- the difference between me and the New Green Deal they say automatically by 2030 we're going to be carbon free. Not possible.
When Biden made the claim, former Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA), shared Boilermakers Local 154's endorsement letter from early September, clearly showing the union supports President Trump.
"As the United States continues to lead the world in oil and natural gas production it is imperative that we continue to battle over-regulations in the fossil fuel industries and fight for American energy production," Boilermakers Local 154's Business Manager, John Hughes, wrote in the letter. "My members and their families are dependent on these industries and it is imperative that we continue to develop new opportunities and energy infrastructure in America. Boilermakers jobs specifically rely on coal-fired power generation and we strongly encourage the advancement of Carbon Capture technologies which can secure future jobs for our members."
Hughes said when he saw the town hall, he was taken back by Biden's blatant lie.
"The other day I'm watching the debate and I see Joe Biden tell everybody that the Boilermakers endorsed him and that is not true, and I would like somebody to tell me who - he said he talked to somebody - I'd like to know who he talked to in the Boilermakers because anybody I talk to did not endorse him," Hughes said in a statement. "And I believe if you go onto our International website we have not endorsed a candidate this round, nor did the International Boilermakers endorse a candidate last time. We did not endorse Obama and Joe Biden last time because of their energy issues."
The union was chartered in 1894, more than a century ago, and has 2,500 active and retired members across Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. It's considered a major endorsement, especially as Democrats target fracking and push the Green New Deal.