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RFK Jr. explains why nuclear power isn’t green and coal isn’t cheap

February 25th, 2010

By Harriet Blake
Green Right Now

As passionate as his father was about civil rights, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is equally so about the environment.

In a lecture in Fort Worth on Wednesday, the 56-year-old son of the late Senator, advocated for moving the nation to green energy, which he doesn’t see as encompassing nuclear power.

Coal is not the only power-producing industry that needs scrubbing, said the longtime environmentalist, nuclear energy is simply not safe. “Nuclear energy is the most catastrophic form of energy. No bank will finance it…[and] no insurance company will insure it,” he said.

“It’s not just a bunch of hippies saying it’s unsafe. There are spills all the time into the Hudson,” says Kennedy, who serves as chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, whose mission is the restoration of that waterway. Three Mile Island was not the last accident despite what nuclear advocates say.

He made it clear that lobbyists for fossil fuel and polluting energy industries are powerful and dangerous. The nuclear industry, for example, managed to find a way to get a Congressional exemption that leaves them free from damage. “All homeowners’ policies in the U.S. exclude radiation from the nuclear industry,” he said.

Kennedy believes greed has taken over the utility companies as well. “Utility companies make money by selling more energy – even if the energy is green. We need to change the rules,” he says. “Don’t reward bad behavior.”

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