November 27, 2023
Featured on Newsweek: For 40 years, I've stood among the leadership of the environmental movement crafting sensible, market-based solutions for reducing our deadly addiction to oil and coal. I believe that the human-induced greenhouse effect is an existential threat to civilization, but I do not insist that other people ascribe to my belief. Even Americans who don't accept carbon-induced climate change should worry that our nation's dependence on coal and oil has other obvious and unignorable costs—including poisoning our fisheries with mercury, sterilizing our lakes and streams, and denuding our forests with acid rain, as well as the mass-scale strip mining that is leveling parts of the Appalachian mountains and the petroleum addiction that keeps us embroiled in endless oil wars. Furthermore, the public finances this destruction with trillions in annual subsidies that allow coal, oil, and gas companies to maintain their competitive edge against what by some measures could be cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient fuels. In 2022, the carbon industry globally collected a staggering $7 trillion in direct and indirect public subsidies. But whether or not you believe in the greenhouse effect, no one can deny that powerful vested interests are now hijacking the climate emergency—as they do with every crisis—to shift wealth upward and impose totalitarian controls. A troubling poster child of this dynamic is one of the flagships of President Biden's climate strategy: giant pipelines that purport to transport waste carbon from Iowa ethanol plants across six states to deep-well injection sites in Illinois and North Dakota. I have long denounced these sorts of "carbon capture storage and sequestration" projects as wasteful corporate welfare boondoggles that do little to reduce atmospheric carbon but serve instead to enrich billionaires and subsidize Big Carbon. Read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s full op-ed here. If you resonate with this message please subscribe to our newsletter to learn more.