Fact Check: Biden claims he won the Boilermakers Union Endorsement. Verdict: Total and complete lie.


PITTSBURGH, PA – Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed at an ABC News town hall event in Pittsburgh that the Boilermakers union in Pennsylvania has endorsed him and not President Trump.

This claim is false.

The Boilermakers Local 154 union endorsed Trump for reelection over Biden, which was in a letter issued last month.  

What exactly happened to make Biden so confused?

Biden was asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about his support for ending fracking.

Historically, Biden has been inconsistent with his answer in the past about this topic, and it’s worth noting that his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, is adamantly against fracking.



“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 Shawn Steffee was quoted in the New York Times today saying ‘You can’t have it both ways,’ he says ‘You can’t meet your goals to end fossil fuels without ending fracking.’

“What do you say to people like Shawn who doubt your denial because they think you want to keep that promise?”

Biden responded with:

“I’d tell them the Boilermakers overwhelmingly endorse me, okay. So the Boilermakers unions endorse me because I sat down with them, went into great detail with their leadership on exactly what I would do, number one.”

The Boilermakers Local 154 union represents more than 2,500 workers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.

In a letter to President Trump, signed by Biolermakers Local 154 union leader John J. Hughes, the union said:

“On behalf of Boilermakers Local 154 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, I am writing this letter to endorse your campaign for the President of the United States of America.

“I represent over 2,500 active and retired members in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia and your administration has convinced my members that you will protect the future of our industry.”

Hughes also said in a statement:

“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.”

Hughes called Trump a “true friend of the Boilermakers” in his endorsement.

He cited how union members and their families:

“…rely on coal-fired power generation and we strongly encourage the advancement of Carbon Capture technologies which can secure future jobs for our members.”

Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) have supported to end fracking. They have had to walk back on that support as they realize it would destabilize energy industry workers and workers in supporting industries.

In a recent report by the New York Times, union workers expressed their concerns with Biden’s green energy plan:

The New York Times article said:

“But even union leaders who back Mr. Biden acknowledged their rank-and-file is divided. And at least one powerful union leader, Shawn Steffee, a business agent and executive board member with the Boilermakers Local 154 has come out strongly for Mr. Trump. 

“’Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want nothing to do with the fossil fuel industry. He’s flip-flopped so many times, and President Trump has embraced fossil fuels, natural gas, and coal,’ Mr. Steffee said.

“A 35-year Democrat before voting for Mr. Trump in 2016, Mr. Steffee said he plans to vote Republican again and believes most of his membership will, too. Their top issue: energy.”

Philadelphia Inquirer noted the gains for steelworkers, manufacturing, and energy industry workers in December 2019.

One of Trump’s best economically boosting policies for American workers has been his imposition of tariffs on foreign steel, foreign aluminum, and billions of dollars worth of made-in-China products.

As of June 2019, there were nearly 1,500 more workers in Pennsylvania’s metal manufacturing industry. That is an increase from 34,763 at the start of 2017 to 36,249 by mid-2019. Steel Dynamics, Texas’ Big River Steel, and Nucor all planned to open new steel plants in the coming years before the pandemic.

Manufacturing employment in Pennsylvania increased more than four percent from 2017 to 2019. In December 2019, there were nearly 580,000 manufacturing workers across the state. This is a nearly 23,000 employment gain from the start of 2017 when less than 557,000 workers were in manufacturing.

In the natural gas distribution industry, has a net gain between 2001 to the end of 2019. In 2001, there were about 4,356 workers in natural gas distribution in Pennsylvania. By December 2019, that total ticked up to nearly 5,000 workers.

Biden has not been reliable about fracking. During a speech in Pittsburg, he said he won’t ban fracking.

Biden said in his speech about violence:

“I am not banning fracking. Let me say again: I am not banning fracking. No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”

However, Biden has promised to ban fracking over and over again. He even said he would ban it on the second Democratic Party presidential Debate on July 31, 2019. That was in Detroit, Michigan.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked him the question directly:

“Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Just to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?”

Biden responded:

“No, we would — we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either — any fossil fuel.”

This was Biden’s consistent position through March of this year. In the final debate of the primary, when he faced off against Sen. Bernie Sanders Biden promised:

“No new fracking.”

It was not the only time Biden made similar commitments.

He backtracked, again, telling Philadelphia-area ABC affiliate WNEP in July:

“Fracking is not going to be on the chopping block.”

But his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), wants to ban fracking — everywhere.


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