Op-Ed: RFK Jr. on Obama’s Energy Plan

 

Kennedy says Obamas energy plan would usher in a green gold rush

Kennedy says Obama's energy plan would usher in a "green gold rush"

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
This is one in a series of commentary pieces on CNN.com from both McCain and Obama supporters attending party conventions.

 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says the U.S. has tremendous energy resources, including wind and solar.

(CNN) — Barack Obama is a transformational figure in American history who’s been able to excite the same intensity of feeling among Americans as I saw during my father’s 1968 campaign and my uncle John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign.

As a six-year-old, I attended the Democratic Convention in 1960 and traveled across the country in the Caroline K [the Kennedy campaign plane].

The excitement I saw then is echoed today as Barack Obama outlines his plans to get the nation moving in the right direction, to restore America’s role as an exemplary nation.

America’s dependence on carbon to produce energy has eroded our economic power, destroyed our moral authority, diminished our international influence and prestige, endangered our national security, and marred our health and landscapes. It is subverting everything we value.

A sophisticated, well-crafted energy policy designed to de-carbonize America is the centerpiece of Sen. Barack Obama’s domestic economic package.

It will sharpen our competitiveness by reducing our energy costs, dramatically reduce our national debt, stimulate our economy far more effectively than tax cuts by putting conservation savings in the hands of every American, and be the engine for creating millions of green-collar jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Obama understands, as John McCain does not, that an intelligent energy policy is also the natural fulcrum for U.S. foreign policy and national security. As Obama has warned, “One of the most dangerous weapons in the world today is the price of oil. We ship nearly $700 million a day to unstable or hostile nations for their oil. It pays for terrorist bombs going off from Baghdad to Beirut.” See McCain and Obama energy plans

Obama’s policy, which anticipates eliminating imports by 2012 or earlier, is feasible and desirable. Respected economists and energy industry entrepreneurs, high-level business representatives from Fortune 500 companies and large investors are already enlisting to invest in the infrastructure to facilitate the transition.

Every nation that has taken serious steps to de-carbonize its energy portfolio has reaped immediate economic growth. Sweden announced in 2006 the phase-out of all fossil fuels (and nuclear energy) by 2020. In 1991, the Swedes enacted a carbon tax — now up to $150 a ton — closed two nuclear reactors, and still dropped greenhouse emissions to 5 tons per person, compared with the U.S. per-capita rate of 20 tons.

Thousands of entrepreneurs rushed to develop new ways of generating energy from wind, the sun and the tides, and from wood chips, agricultural waste and garbage. Growth rates climbed and the heavily taxed Swedish economy is now the world’s eighth richest by gross domestic product.

Iceland was 80 percent dependent on imported coal and oil in the 1970s and was among the poorest economies in Europe. Today, Iceland is 100 percent energy independent, and according to the International Monetary Fund is now the fourth most affluent nation on Earth.

There are many other examples: Brazil’s efforts to de-carbonize its transportation system has resulted in the largest and most robust economic expansion in its history.

The United States has far greater domestic energy resources than Iceland or Sweden. We sit atop the second-largest geothermal resources in the world. The American Midwest is the Saudi Arabia of wind. Solar installations across just 19 percent of the most barren desert land in the Southwest could supply nearly all of our nation’s electricity needs even if every American owned an electric car.

Obama’s vision of de-carbonizing our economy begins with a market-based carbon cap-and-trade system designed to put downward pressure on carbon emissions. He will invest billions to revamp the nation’s antiquated high-voltage power transmission system and press for cost-saving building and appliance standards that would cut our energy demand by half.

For a tiny fraction of the projected cost of the Iraq war, we could completely wean the country from carbon. Homes and businesses will become power plants as people cash in by installing solar panels and wind turbines on their buildings, and selling the stored energy in their plug-in hybrids back to the grid at peak hours. By kicking its carbon addiction, America will increase its national wealth. Everyone will profit from the green gold rush.

We will create a decentralized and highly distributable grid that is far more resilient and safe for our country; a terrorist might knock out a power plant, but never a million homes. And for the first time in half a century, we will live free from Middle Eastern wars and entanglements with petty tyrants who despise democracy and are hated by their own people.

Courtesy CNN.com

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8 Comments

Filed under barack obama, climate change, election 2008, environment, global warming, JFK, John F. Kennedy, media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Op-Ed: RFK Jr. on Obama’s Energy Plan

  1. Jack Mosel

    Here here… (Applause) Too bad it’s not the RFK 2008 Democratic platform he is speaking of but in many ways it is…

    Barrack Obama I believe, (as well Sen. Clinton, if she were the nominee) have given RFK a voice of credibillty as of late. A voice that in this sick and strangely twisted times of post 9/11 Fascism, from the NWO we’ve been made to accept and accomodate, have ’embraced’ from our media ‘words’ which are diametrically opposed to our great nations’ collective ‘moral’ conscience.

    A bitter tonic of artificial beliefs and ‘justifiable anger’ as well as fear and loathing of an enemy which has yet to be revealed or captured for over 7 years… BTW.. WHERE’S OSAMA? Where’s the WMD?!!! This ‘Common Enemy’ / “Axis of Evil” we have been persuing (AT ALL COSTS) has driven us and the world into safe places and security zones all over the world… The extent of this collective and mass hysteria has caused us great damage to our reputation, our families, our beliefs, or justice system, our monetary policy and system, our foreign policy, our Civil Rights…

    Blinded by this charade, IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!!! (and that goes for both parties). The front page on Yahoo this AM tells of the Fed needing to bail out FDIC now.. as a result of the failing banks in U.S. and the fear of failing banks in the U.S. ?!!! But Damn the torpedo’s right! Let’s truck with Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and of course Iraq! Our Bridges literally fall down under us in rush hour traffic, we respond as a Federal Government to a monumental tragedy of epic proportions in our nation’s history after Katrina, to save American souls (because our levee’s broke / Infrastructure) after a two week ‘vetting’ process from this administration! People starved and were killed from this in a way that is only seen in 3rd world countries… Shame on us. Yet When there was a tsunami, earthquake, or act of aggression (Perceived) from Russia… We send the Fifth Fleet immediately…

    How the HELL did we get here?!

    RFK is right. If/when Obama is elected (barring Rovian election Fraud / best practices management… again) a green revolution is not in-conceivable… Getting the money to turn from lining the pockets of the entitled Fascists and lobbyists of the ilke from HALIBURTON or BUSH’s NEO-CON weapon’s dealers Corporation’s CIA shell companies or Big Pharma from the lobbyist at large and formely known as Don Rumsfeld. When there are viable alternatives embraced from us for power generation and transportation (And it ain’t friggin SWITCHGRASS or CORN!) there will be a market in which we will have our next opportunity to be a MADE IN U.S.A manufacturer again and live free of the tyranny of fear and loathing which we now know is manufactured by Nazi/Fascists (from within).

    This Green industry, from a purely marketing standpoint, is a perfect storm for anybody to capture nothing short of the attention of the world and the drooling anticipation of those who would ebrace immediately an alterantive to the shackles we wear today.

    The hope I have is that it is we who persue this technology and it will be we who embrace its use in our infrastructure throughout our nation. China will follow, Europe will follow, Etc.

    Thought: If we had an alternative fuel or energy right now… Today… How important do you think it would be for us to be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Balkans??? HMMMMmmmm. I think it wouldn’t be important at all. In fact, I think we’d be busy at home ‘playing with our new toys’, re-building our country (infrastructure up) employing and embracing the changes in every direction you looked. Investment and profits wouldn’t be the half of it for entreprenuers… The freedom associated to everyday people to expand their lifestyles to include this new energy would turbo-charge our pride, our mobility and our nation as a whole. Proving once again, that The United States of America is the greatest nation in the world. That we proved this (again) by employing the same ethics from our start. Democracy, inginuity, entreprenuerial risk and a collective unity of souls, free to be all the brilliant and creative humans that they can be, in a time of WAR… War against a real enemy (Not a fictitous image of an angry dark man wearing a towel on his head who is…. muslim SSHhhhh.) The enemy of these “peak times” we now face is from our sloth and treacherous oil barrons who step on the necks of an alternative fuel/energy economy, who will use tactics in-conceivable to you to hold their shares of our souls, for their profits…

    Or… We could invade Iran, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and hell why not China! Cause if we’re going to “Go” might as well Go friggin BIG RIGHT?!

    Quite buying the “company line”!!!… No WMD’s, No Osama, No Mission Accomplished!!! No Way.

    Can you say INSIDE JOB? Try it Mr. Cheney I.N.S.I.D.E. — J.O.B (good) now step up to bench please, a real judge would like to talk to you… Not one you appointed, I’m afraid… Mr. Bush would you have a seat please, we’ll be right with you.

    To Roll… Or Not To Roll… That is the question. Party not unified my ass!!! That’s a CNN/FOX talking point straight from the Fourth Reich!!! Don’t believe the hype!

  2. preplan

    Of the two candidates, I think Obama is the most likely to follow through on his promise to take a stab at getting us off imported oil. McCain’s web site says only that he will “encourage” renewable energy. I just have this vsion of him on the whitehouse lawn with pom-poms shouting, “go wind, go solar” and calling it a day.

    See my blog for an idea on how to pay for renewables that won’t require that the govt. subsidize renewable energy. http://preplan.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/introducing-profitable-renewable-energy/

  3. Carson Wales

    This is nothing more than garbage being peddled from the do as I say not as I do elitist left:

    Kennedy Quote on the Cape Wind project near his precious mansion in Kennybunkport, December 16, 2005 :

    “[h]undreds of flashing lights to warn airplanes away from the turbines will steal the stars and nighttime views. The noise of the turbines will be audible onshore … [and] the project will damage the views from 16 historic sites and lighthouses on the cape and nearby islands.”

    Kennedy = Fraud. Just like Al Gore and his fleet of private jets and mansions he heats every year.

    Kennedy Quote from this op ed:

    “Iceland was 80 percent dependent on imported coal and oil in the 1970s and was among the poorest economies in Europe. Today, Iceland is 100 percent energy independent, and according to the International Monetary Fund is now the fourth most affluent nation on Earth.”

    What a bunch of Gibberish. Iceland is Bankrupt. This man either doesn’t have a clue or ignores facts that don’t fit his elitist agenda…

    Quote from the International Herald Tribune, October 10, 2008:

    Iceland was on the verge of doing exactly that on Thursday as the government shut down the stock market and seized control of its last major independent bank. That brought trading in the country’s currency to a halt, with foreign banks no longer willing to take Icelandic krona, even at fire-sale rates.

    As the meltdown in the Icelandic financial system quickened, with the government seemingly powerless to do anything about it, analysts said there was probably only one realistic option left: for Iceland to be bailed out by the International Monetary Fund.

    “Iceland is bankrupt,” said Arsaell Valfells, a professor at the University of Iceland. “The Icelandic krona is history. The IMF has to come and rescue us.”

  4. Hey Carson – thanks for your comments. Just one correction:

    In reference to the Cape Wind project, it is proposed to be built off the coast of Massachusetts, not Maine.

    The Kennedy compound is located in Hyannisport, MA – not Kennebunkport, Maine. That is where the Bush family lives.

    Looks like you got your Bushes and Kennedys confused!

  5. chrisy58

    Carson Wales said:

    “Kennedy Quote on the Cape Wind project near his precious mansion in Kennybunkport, December 16, 2005 :

    “[h]undreds of flashing lights to warn airplanes away from the turbines will steal the stars and nighttime views. The noise of the turbines will be audible onshore … [and] the project will damage the views from 16 historic sites and lighthouses on the cape and nearby islands.”

    Dear Carson,

    As has been pointed out I think you are confusing Bush with Kennedy. I went to school (St. Francis) in Maine near Kennybunkport, Maine. I even rented a cottage at Kennybunk Beach. I used to drive by the Bush place as there was a Catholic church not to far from the place. Never met a Bush though.

    I also have lived in MA and have spent time on the Cape. The Cape is not the place to put the wind mills. It is a very historic place it would destroy the economy because a lot of it is based on tourists in the Summer.

    I also used to live in Kansas and the Mid west is a wind tunnel and it would help the economy as the small family farmers are having a hard time making it and would give people good paying jobs. Like where I live in AZ it would be great for solar energy. There are different parts of the country that are more ideal to generate different kinds of renewable energy. The cape might be more suited to water powered energy like the old mills used to run on.

    Iceland was doing extremely well until the economy turned. It wasn’t just Iceland that was sound one day and the next was in major trouble. Do I dare say the word John McCain and his the economy is solid and then a few hours laters he admits there is a problem? Is John McCain a fraud too? Or do you think it is possible for someone to make a honest judgement with the best information they have and in the end turn out to be wrong?

    I have made mistakes in my life Carson. It must be great to be one of the few perfect people in this life who has never made a mistake, but yet you have confused Bush with Kennedy so you aren’t perfect either. Before you go throwing stones at someone you might want to make sure that you aren’t living in a glass house.

  6. Harry

    This is crazy:

    “The United States has far greater domestic energy resources than Iceland or Sweden. We sit atop the second-largest geothermal resources in the world. The American Midwest is the Saudi Arabia of wind. Solar installations across just 19 percent of the most barren desert land in the Southwest could supply nearly all of our nation’s electricity needs even if every American owned an electric car.”

    He’s suggesting covering 19% of the southwest deserts with solar panels?! You cannot build a road there without environmentalists protesting due to the effect on some indigenous species!! Yet suddenly they all turn a blind eye to covering the desert with effectively giant energy umbrellas?! And wind power is not any better. If you start taking significant energy from the winds traversing the continent it will have a significant impact on weather patterns. Taking energy from wind and sun is taking energy from active participants in the climate. You can’t do that without some effect and that effect will scale with the amount of energy you take.

    McCain will develop some responsible renewable energy resources but he has also proposed building 50 brand new nuclear reactors by 2025. Nuclear energy has zero carbon footprint, almost no environmental impact and given known fuel deposits and modern (not 20 year old) technology could fuel the entire planet for 100,000 years!! In today’s technology the fuel can be reused to the point where there is less radioactive waste than the initial radioactive materials that already exist. Do not buy into the fear mongering by the Obama campaign who pretend no progress has been made since the days when the best computer was slower than my cell phone. There are hundreds of nuclear reactors out there working day in and day out safely. Many small enough to power ships and submarines.

    Obama’s energy plan will switch one set of environmental problems for another. McCain’s plan will create an energy infrastructure independent from foreign oil, with little environmental impact and sustainable for generations to come.

  7. James Paul

    RFK is sincere about getting off carbon, but like the do-gooder in the Witches of Eastwick, he ‘tends to hold his nose when he gets close to actual cases’. His NIMBY stance on Cape Wind is shameful.

  8. It’s time to switch to solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels and tidal energy. I manufacture biodiesel processors, which turn used vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. Change is a good thing, and its coming fast.

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