In town hall with Hispanic Council, Fetterman stresses investment and energy security
(Jhe Center Square) — A virtual town hall Thursday featured Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman speaking about the concerns of Latino business owners.
The forum, hosted by the US Hispanic Business Council, allowed USHBC President Javier Palomarez to quiz Fetterman on the economy, immigration, energy policy and crime. Like Tuesday’s US Senate debate with Republican rival Dr. Mehmet Oz, Fetterman used closed captioning technology and echoed some of the same lines.
Fetterman spoke about his time as mayor of Braddock, a small borough outside of Pennsylvania, and the importance of making “increased kinds of investments” in “forgotten communities” like where he lives and places like Reading, which has a large Hispanic population.
“We need more jobs to support the family here in Pennsylvania and in America, I think we should have more tax cuts for working families,” Fetterman said. “One of my core values is that we need to raise the minimum wage…I believe that with all work there is dignity, and all paychecks should also have dignity.”
He also spoke of the need “to create a kind of more vibrant economy to attract people” to Pennsylvania and to create “a more hospitable environment for business.”
Fetterman expanded on his take on energy and fracking, which he was criticized on Tuesday for struggling to explain his previous opposition to fracking, as The Center Square Previously reported.
“I fundamentally believe that we should always produce more energy here in America,” Fetterman said. “The truth is, Democrats should always be honest about energy security and why it matters…we can’t have a strong economy if we don’t have the power to support it.”
Fetterman called a reliance on all-renewable energy “simply unrealistic” and explained his previous opposition to fracking because of its environmental impact and its impact on neighborhoods.
Palomarez pressed him on whether he would support efforts to authorize reform in Congress, as Proposal by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to streamline the approval process for power transmission lines and pipelines, including in Pennsylvania.
“As long as it’s done in a very safe and environmental way, I support that,” Fetterman said, though he noted he was concerned about past projects in the Commonwealth that have resulted in fines for violations. “As long as it doesn’t pass through residential neighborhoods or (is a) danger to the population, I can support that.”
Fetterman also spoke about the importance of making Pennsylvania a welcoming state for immigration and said immigration reform will require a bipartisan solution that reflects common sense and compassion.
At the forum, Fetterman repeated a few lines voters heard during Tuesday’s debate, and again said he was “always ready to fight for anyone who’s been knocked down and needs to get back up.”