The Staggering Hypocrisy of One Fractivist: RKF, Jr.

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Fractivist RFK, Jr.’s stunning hypocrisy and performance at the “People’s Climate March” in New York shows just how little substance there is to fractivism.

The very title of the “People’s Climate March,” of course, tells us precisely what it was all about and it wasn’t global warming or climate change of any other kind. It wasn’t about fracking either. Nothing called a “people’s march” is ever about anything other than fighting capitalism and imposing a red agenda in the name of a public that doesn’t support it. This was an assembly of radicals and useful idiot fractivist types living off trust funds who want us to believe they’re smarter and more socially conscious than the rest of us and, therefore, deserve to be in charge even although they’ve never successfully done much of anything to produce the wealth that allows them this luxury.

RFK, Jr. – The Trust Fund Fractivist 

Consider Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. who has never had a meaningful job that wasn’t handed to him because of his name. He lives in mansions, travels in expensive SUVs and on private jets and then lectures the rest of us on how to live, despite a personal life that can only be described as sordid. The angry video of him losing it with a PJTV interviewer and wresting the microphone away from her while saying how much he wished to jail those who disagree with him is already infamous.

Fractivist RFK, Jr. - Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 7.29.32 PM

During the interview, he talks about “rational free markets,” by which he means markets he controls, of course. Free markets, as any Econ 101 graduate knows, are already completely rational by virtue of the votes of millions making purchasing decisions and Kennedy, like others speaking for “the people” doesn’t like the results, so he wants to rationalize them in his direction.

What’s interesting, though, is that Kennedy, a former senior attorney with NRDC and a member of Gov. Cuomo’s hydrofracking advisory committee with two other NRDC senior attorneys and several associates, uses his role as part of the wild wacky world of fractivism as cover for what are hugely hypocritical investments that scam the taxpayers and others.

Most of us are aware of Kennedy’s hypocrisy regarding the Cape Wind farm project in Nantucket Sound a little less than a decade ago, when he claimed this in a New York Times article:

“…because offshore wind costs twice as much as gas-fired electricity and significantly more than onshore wind, the project is financially feasible only because the federal and state governments have promised $241 million in subsidies”

He not only thought gas-fired electricity was a far better bargain then, but decried the public subsidies. Four years later, though, another New York Times piece revealed a quite different attitude regarding his own investments in renewable energy. Those investments include a stake in BrightSource Energy, Inc. the company that developed the Ivanpah solar facility, which received $1.4 billion of taxpayer subsidies for this dubious project sponsored by Google, the world’s second largest company (after Apple).

Among the leaders in a group of aggressive solar prospectors is an Oakland-based company called BrightSource Energy Inc., which has been making a splash lately for its plans to build 2.6 gigawatts of power for California’s investor-owned utilities, much of it to be located — on paper, at least — in the Mojave Desert.

But some California-based activists are worried that solar developers like BrightSource are getting a free pass in a headlong rush to build clean energy and capitalize on federal stimulus dollars now available for such projects. These activists have enlisted Feinstein to push for the declaration of a national monument in the desert and intend to unveil legislation with the senator in September that would apparently protect 1 million acres in the eastern Mojave to limit development.

Enter Kennedy, who calls the national monument, as it is likely to be drawn, a bad idea. To Kennedy, the instinct to protect local ecosystems has collided with the goals of a progressive national energy policy.

“I respect the belief that it’s all local,” Kennedy said in an interview. “But they’re putting the democratic process and sound scientific judgement on hold to jeopardize the energy future of our country.”

But here’s the rub: Kennedy has a stake in BrightSource through VantagePoint Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley that was instrumental in raising $160 million in financing for the solar startup. Other investors include Chevron Corp., and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

That Kennedy is a senior adviser at VantagePoint, and an open promoter of BrightSource in public speeches, is an irony not lost on David Myers, an activist who charges Kennedy with shilling for a company intent on using his political clout. To Myers, the lure of profit if BrightSource makes it big is why Kennedy, a cousin of California’s first lady, Maria Shriver, wants to stop the national monument before it ever gets off the ground.

“I’m getting pretty tired of BrightSource using their Kennedy connection,” said Myers, executive director of the Wildlands Conservancy. “BrightSource [is pursuing] the worst projects in the worst locations, but they have the best PR firm, because Robert Kennedy is involved.”

Fractivist RFK, Jr.’s Investments in Oil and Gas?

The Kennedy family has also been heavily invested in oil and gas, as this excerpt from The Kennedys: Dynasty and Disaster indicates (emphasis added):

“Since John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy [and Edward M. Kennedy] are dead, their trusts have passed on to their children. John F. Kennedy Jr. [now-deceased] and Caroline Kennedy receive income from Kennedy trusts worth from $7.5 million to $10 million each, in addition to the substantial trusts established for them by Aristotle Onassis, and the children of Robert F. Kennedy receive income off trusts worth about $1 million

“Feeding the Kennedy trusts, foundations, and memorials are the various Kennedy-owned businesses that are either held or managed by the Park Agency.

“The largest of these, by far, is the Merchandise Mart, a 24-story structure in Chicago with 1,000 tenants, currently [as of 1983] worth about $200 million, which generate an annual income of about $25 million a year. Other Kennedy businesses include the Corpus Christi-based Mokeen Oil Corporation, and the Kenoil Corporation, worth around $20 million, with oil-producing properties in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and California. These are the principal moneymakers. Other Kennedy-controlled businesses include the Park Agency’s considerable real estate holdings, the Sutton Producing Corporation, a small oil company based in San Antonio, and the Forest Oil Corporation of Bradford, Pennsylvania, which is [was] wholly owned by [the now-deceased] Senator Edward Kennedy. Finally, rounding out the Kennedy holdings is a substantial portfolio of stocks and bonds containing such standard blue chips as Exxon, IBM and Eastman Kodak.”

The Kenoil and Mokeen investments have, apparently, been subsequently merged into the Arctic Royalty Limited Partnership, headquartered in New York. The whole story is told here, revealing RFK, Jr. to be not only a fractivist, but an especially hypocritical fractivist, and that’s being exceptionally kind. Yet, he’s one of the individuals Gov. Andrew Cuomo thought ought to help him decide the issue of fracking in New York; another trust-funder committed to the destruction of all capitalism other than that crony capitalism that puts money in his own pockets.

fractivist - Cuomo & Kennedy

Cuomo and Kennedy, Ex-Brother-in-Laws

The video of his People’s Climate March remarks is disgusting in its own right, but when you realize the guy saying “oil companies have subverted our democracy” and that we need “to divorce ourselves from a fuel that is destroying our planet” does so with money he earned from oil and gas investments you gain a special insight into his hypocrisy. When you further realize he’s using some of those earnings to invest in solar boondoggles at taxpayer expense while opposing other renewables because they’re subsidized, you understand just what a phony this fractivist is.

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15 thoughts on “The Staggering Hypocrisy of One Fractivist: RKF, Jr.

  1. His shirt is made with petroleum based “Plastisol” Inks and cured at 450 degrees F in a natural gas fired dryer. The dyes to make the shirt are more toxic than the ink, and more than likely contain heavy metals , The cotton is conventional (non organic), and was sprayed with heavy pesticide use. The shirts were probably manufactured in a sweat shop in Myanmar, Honduras, India or China. They are also made using polyester threads which also is from the petroleum and cracker plant side of the refinery process as a byproduct. They were then shipped via container ship fueled by petroleum and trucked to a screen printing facility on the East Coast from the West Coast via UPS. Can you say hypocrite? These people are so hypocritical it’s amusing after the anger leaves.

    • In your last sentence I think you meant so write, “These people are so hypocritical it’s angering after the amusement leaves.”, for I end up more mad than amused by such elitist hypocrisy. What is just as angering is that so many of those who protest against the “1%” will so willingly follow along behind such a b******. They truely are useful idiots!

  2. Tom, you obviously were not there or you’d know that you can’t judge the character of 400,000 people who took time out of their lives to participate in the event based simply on RFK’s response to inane questions. The wanna-be reporter seems to suggest one mustn’t use a cell phone if one is to speak harshly about the climate effects of fossil fuel use. I thought he handled himself rather well given her childish behavior.

    It is revealing that you csee the descriptor “People’s” to mean some sinister anti-American plot. It’s that very sort of in-the-street peaceful protest that brought us civil rights, women’s rights, extracted us from the Vietnam quagmire, and will shake up policy makers regarding energy and climate. How dare you insult the core of our democracy.

  3. Thanks again Tom, this is some real Astorino dy-no-mite ! I hope his team sees this article! Like I posted on another forum way back when Cuomo selected him , Isn’t it ironic who Cuomo chose to do what he is doing to us new york land owners? It at least shows a sense of humor, though a bit twisted ! I hate to admit it but the one thing i agree with all those whackadoos in the march is we need more transport pipe inspectors. If what i heard on public radio is true there are only 142 inspectors for the whole nation? Another thing i heard is the Park ave. crowd is vowing to divest in fossil fuels within the next 5 years? Oh one more thing. I know a really great kenedy poem that i can not clean up enough to post on this sight. So if ya wanna hear it let me know. And remember every one -All NY or None and support our Pa.neighbors .(We’re all in this together)-thanks Red Greene for that quote! Duct tape forever Red !

  4. Sorry you obviously weren’t there, as it was a second chance for you to read the particular sign/camera combo of mine that you allegedly failed to read in front of the 2013 (and, happily for real Susquehanna Countians, final!) Cabot picnic. It’s kind of ironic that the hundreds of NYC cops that I walked past with it over the course of the march, had far less of a “red agenda” towards me than your buddy Cabot’s thug at the gate of its picnic did, but then again, nothing like that is ever surprising with you.

  5. The unsavory union of Robert Kennedy Jr. and his partisan ex brother-in- law, Handy Andy Cuomo, is indeed the height of hypocrisy. Robert Kennedy, Sr. spent his life fighting for for the poor and disadvantaged minorities in the deep South, while his son, Kennedy Jr. who makes millions off of royalties from his oil and natural gas investments fights tooth and nail to keep the disadvantaged New York State Southern Tier Landowners in perpetual state of poverty. Unfortunately, Cuomo only represents some of the some of the people all of the time, while Robert Kennedy, Jr. plays him like a fiddle.

  6. I only found out about the event the day before and was surprised about the lack of advertising. It would have been a perfect opportunity to display some real-world US gov. statistics such as the limited current and projected use of renewable energy as compared to natural gas, disparate BTU vs. water usage for methanol as compared to fracking, the dramatic decrease in US CO2 emissions, 2013 increases in polar ice, etc. I missed my chance to pass out flyers.
    The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect the opinion of my employer.

  7. Pingback: The Staggering Hypocrisy of One Fractivist: RKF, Jr. | ShaleNOW

  8. This mans cousin Joseph is huge promoter of Venezuelan oil. Nothing like giving oil away to so called poor in Boston while grocery shelves r bare for the much poorer in Caracas


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