Fordham Conversations: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

by Chiara Wegener
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Rainforest Action Network, flickr

Robert Kennedy Jr. calls on students to become energy entrepreneurs

Kennedy spoke as part of the American Age Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Fordham University College Democrats. During his speech, Kennedy urged students to become energy entrepreneurs and create a free-energy marketplace.

"We need a marketplace, a national, unified marketplace that does what a market is supposed to do, which is reward good behavior--which is efficiency, and punish bad behavior--which is inefficiency and waste."

Kennedy, who is an environmental lawyer and chairman of the Waterkeeper Alliance, argued that Americans should set a global example by embracing good economic and environmental policy. He said that Americans are addicted to carbon, and are afraid to shift to electric energy. Kennedy said the U.S. is second in the world when it comes to solar energy use, and number one in wind energy.

"But we don't use it because of the illusion that it's more expensive than coal or oil. That's because of the huge subsidies we give to oil."

Kennedy went on to tell students that a federal program similar to FDR's New Deal could bring green jobs to the U.S. and install a clean energy infrastructure. He said once a new energy grid was built, the price of energy would plummet. "Once we build that grid, companies are going to want to build generation facilities. It will be the biggest tax break ever seen in the country."

Kennedy urged students to get involved in careers that focus on electric energy, noting, "That is where the jobs are."

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