Robert Kennedy Jr.

Crimes Against Nature

(RFK) talks about his exposé:

I've written a book about Bush's environmental record, but it's not so much about the environment as it is about an excess of corporate power and the corrosive impact of that on our democracy. And it's not about a Democrat attacking a Republican. I've been disciplined for 20 years as an environmental advocate about being nonpartisan and bipartisan in my approach to these issues.

But you can't talk honestly about the environment today in any context without speaking critically about this president.

Look at Natural Resource Defense Council's website,

  1. It's a stealth attack.
  2. The polluters are running regulatory agencies
  3. America's waterways are actually getting dirtier.
  4. Fish are unsafe to Eat
  5. Texas is a mess: worst urban air, largest (Exxon) refinery in the world, degraded rivers with high mercury content in fish, not reported.

It's a stealth attack.
They have concealed their radical agenda from the American public using Orwellian rhetoric. When they destroy the forest, they call it the Healthy Forest Law; when they destroy the air they call it the Clear Skies Bill. And most insidiously they have put polluters in charge of virtually all the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. The head of the Forest Service is a timber industry lobbyist. The head of public lands is a mining industry lobbyist who believes that public lands are unconstitutional. The head of the air division at EPA is a utility lobbyist who has represented the worst air polluters in America. The second in command at EPA is a Monsanto lobbyist. The head of Superfunds, an agency critical to quality of life here in Oregon, is a lobbyist whose last job was teaching corporate polluters how to evade Superfunds.


Quis Custodiet problem: Who watches the government watch dogs?

If you go through all the agency heads, sub-heads and secretaries in the Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Department of Energy and EPA, you'll find the same thing: The polluters are running regulatory agencies that are supposed to regulate them. And these are not individuals who have entered government service for the sake of the public interest, but rather specifically to subvert the very laws that they are in charge of enforcing. This is impacting our quality of life in America in so many ways that we don't know about because the press simply isn't doing its job of informing the American public, scrutinizing these policies, connecting the dots between the corporate contributors and the dramatic decline in American quality of life that we are now experiencing.


This year for the first time since the passage of the Clean Water Act, EPA announced that America's
waterways are actually getting dirtier. The New York Times ran a story that the levels of sulfur dioxide
(that causes acid rain) have grown 4 percent over the last year. I have three children who have asthma
and one out of every four black children in this country in our municipalities now has asthma.
Asthma rates have doubled among our children over the last five years. Whether it's hormones in our
food or antibiotics, something is causing our children to have these kinds of haywire immune systems.

We do know that asthma attacks are triggered primarily by two components of air pollution: ozone and
particulates. About 60 percent of those materials in our atmosphere are coming from 1,100 coal-burning
power plants that are burning coal illegally. They were supposed to have cleaned up 15 years ago. The
Clinton administration was prosecuting the worst 70 of these plants for criminal violations. But this is
an industry that donated $48 million to President Bush and the Republican Party in the 2000 cycle and
have given $58 million since.

Last week the federal EPA announced that in 19 states it's now unsafe to eat any freshwater fish
because of mercury contamination. In 48 states it's now unsafe to eat at least some of the fish or most of
the fish, and Oregon is one of those.



I don't think there's any such thing as Republican children or Democratic children, and the worst thing that can happen to the environment is if it becomes the province of a single political party.


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Last Updated on 04/04/2005 .

By Joseph Siry

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