Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to reporters during the Hawkeye Area Labor Council Labor Day Picnic, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is defending himself against criticism that the co-founder of a liquefied natural gas firm is hosting a fundraiser for him despite his pledge not to accept fossil fuel money for his 2020 bid.

The former vice president said Wednesday during a CNN climate town hall series that he’s not violating his pledge because, according to Federal Election Commission records, Andrew Goldman “is not a fossil fuel executive.”

Some environmental leaders who encouraged Democratic candidates to refuse fossil fuel money say Goldman’s involvement in Thursday’s fundraiser violates the spirit of Biden’s commitment.

Goldman is managing director of the investment firm Hildred Capital Partners. But he’s also co-founder of Western LNG, a firm developing a Canadian natural gas facility.

Biden’s campaign notes Goldman isn’t involved in Western LNG’s day-to-day operations.

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