Fetterman pledges not to accept fossil fuel money in Pennsylvania Senate race

Fetterman pledges not to accept fossil fuel money in Pennsylvania Senate race
© Ben Kamisar

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who announced a 2022 Senate bid earlier this month, said in a statement Tuesday that he will not accept donations from the fossil fuel industry in his run.

Fetterman said in the statement obtained by The Hill via email that he had 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 in a statement.

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"Climate change is an existential threat, and we need to transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. And as we do this, we must ensure that we have a just transition that honors and upholds the union way of life for workers across Pennsylvania and creates thousands of good-paying union jobs in the process," he continued. 

Fetterman, the former mayor of Braddock, has long said that practical environmental solutions must incorporate the energy industry’s role in economies like Pennsylvania’s.

“I’ve said this line time and again: that Republicans must become honest about our climate, and Democrats need to get honest about energy,” he told Rolling Stone in November.

"I have people in my own community that can’t afford to keep gas on in their house during the winter. If we ban fracking, for example, overnight, how do people heat their homes or afford to heat their homes or cook their food?”

Fetterman is one of three declared Democratic candidates for the Pennsylvania Senate seat, which Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) has said he will leave at the end of his second term.

Reached for comment, former Norristown Borough Council President John McGuigan, one of the other declared candidates in the race, told The Hill he intends to sign the pledge as well as another backing a Green New Deal.

The Hill has reached out to the other declared candidate, former Brighton, Ala., Mayor Brandaun Dean, for comment.

Updated at 2:07 p.m.