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.
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., Google.org 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.
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.