Bobby visited the Pacific Northwest yesterday for a speech and voiced his opposition to a proposed LNG facility on the Columbia River. According to local press accounts, here’s what he had to say:
RFK JR. FIGHTS PROPOSED LNG FACILITY ON COLUMBIA RIVER
Robert Kennedy, Jr. has a lot to say about a proposed liquefied natural gas facility on the Columbia River: “This is a bad energy policy and it is so out of character with how other Americans are starting to see this region – as the leader in green technology.”
Kennedy, lead prosecuting attorney for Hudson Riverkeeper in New York, toured the Columbia River with representatives of Columbia Riverkeeper, the Columbian Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and other environmental activists who are opposed to the “Bradwood Landing” plan by Northern Star Natural Gas.
“They’re cut through 300 streams which feed into the estuary,” said Kennedy claiming the plan will damage the salmon population and cause sedimentation.
Kennedy says he has supported plans to construct LNG facilities in other areas but says the Columbia River is one of the iconic rivers in the country, “for its historical importance, for its geological importance, for its biological importance, particulary for its contribution for the salmon population and salmon culture.”
Groups supporting the plan say they are taking extra steps to reduce the impact on the environment.
Kennedy tours the area with local Riverkeepers. July 10, 2008
EXCERPT FROM KENNEDY’S VANCOUVER SPEECH
Kennedy delivered an address in Vancouver that evening. Here are a few highlights from The Oregonian’s coverage:
VANCOUVER — Instead of just giving a speech and splitting, Brad Owen suggested, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. should stick around a little longer when he visits Washington state again.
Owen, Washington’s lieutenant governor, introduced Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and son of a political and public service legend, tonight at the Southwest Washington Sustainability Conference at the Hilton Vancouver Washington.
Most of Kennedy’s speech to about 600 people was a wide-ranging condemnation of the Bush administration’s environmental practices. He contended they have given carte blanche to corporations to denigrate the environment for profit.
But Owen learned that at the outset that Kennedy has lots of Pacific Northwest wilderness cred.
“I have been here for recreational purposes on many occasions, all over Washington state. In fact, I started coming here when I was a little boy.” said Kennedy, 54. He’s now the chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Hudson River and its tributaries.
“I went to (Supreme Court) Justice William O. Douglas, who was a very close friend of my dad’s, and he took us out here. We came out here to the World’s Fair in Seattle when they first opened that Space Needle,” in 1962, Kennedy said, adding to audience laughter: “With nine or 10 of my brothers and sisters.”
He continued: “We went out on Puget Sound and caught more fish than I’ve ever seen in my life. We went hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, around the San Juan Islands for a two-week pack trip up there.
“And then I came back here many times because one of my father’s best friends was Jim Whittaker,” a Seattle native and famed mountaineer.
Whittaker was the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the first full-time employee of Recreational Equipment Inc. In 1965, he led a climb up Alaska’s Mount Kennedy, named for slain President John F. Kennedy, and his four-person climbing party included Robert F. Kennedy.
Kennedy mentioned more Northwest connections. “My brother Joe was a guide on Mount Rainier. My younger brother at that time was the youngest person to summit Mount Rainier.
“I love this part of the country. I will take almost any invitation to come out here or excuse to come out here. … I wish I could live out here.”
Kennedy also greeted two friends in the audience: Sheila Hamilton, news director of KINK radio, and James Curleigh, president and chief executive officer of Keen Inc. footwear.