Robert Kennedy, Jr.: Even Obama is a prisoner to Big Coal, blames Reagan

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Remember in 2008 when then-presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama said it “was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal?”

Well, not exactly according environmentalist Robert Kennedy, Jr.  We’re just not there yet.

On Tuesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, the long-time environmental activist explained that despite the best efforts of Obama with a Nobel Prize-winning Department of Energy secretary at his disposal, in Steven Chu – Obama is still hostage to Big Coal, at least politically.

“Even you know, Obama, who I think knows better about this issue, has to kind of choke out the term ‘clean coal’ occasionally,” Kennedy said. “And I think you know that because he’s got a broader agenda. He’s got health care and he’s got two wars and he’s got saving the automobile companies and he needs the 11 coal state senators, 22 senators, more than half of them Democratic, to vote for his agenda and they’re not going to do it unless he supports big coal.”

Host Joe Scarborough argued that this preceded Obama – all the way back to former President Richard Nixon and the 1973 oil embargo OPEC imposed against the United States. Kennedy disagreed, saying that Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter put the country on the right track, but that President Ronald Reagan derailed progress.

“Carter, as ineffective as Jimmy Carter is thought to be on many issues, he actually did have a good energy policy,” Kennedy said. “When Reagan came in, the first thing he did was to rip the solar panels off the roof of White House – we’re handing the economy back over to Big Oil and Big Coal and we’re living with the effects of that decision today. You know, we — actually, they, Gerald Ford, who is Republican and Jimmy Carter passed fuel economy standards in this country, were designed to get us completely off of foreign oil by 1986 and they were on their way to doing that, we wouldn’t have had to import a single drop of foreign oil if we had followed their fuel economy standards, but they were rolled back by [former Reagan Budget Director] David Stockman in 1981 and here are the results of that addiction, including two wars that were unnecessary.”