(VitalNews.org) – Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy and current presidential candidate, announced a 10-point plan to fight pollution by plastics on Friday. One of the things on his list was a call to end fracking.
Kennedy posted about his 10-point plan on Twitter last Friday. The first thing he proposed is an international treaty on plastics, and then an act to restrict plastics and chemicals that are hazardous. Some other points include “a national bottle bill,” responsibility guidelines for packaging products, modernizing recycling facilities, and studies to evaluate the “sources of plastic waste.” According to the United Nations, between 19 and 23 million tons of plastic ends up in waterways annually – not just in the ocean, but in lakes, rivers, and streams.
But the most controversial point is the seventh, in which Kennedy says he will “ban fracking,” which he said “provides most of the plastics” made in the US.
Fracking is the process of injecting highly pressurized liquid into the ground to open up rock fissures that release oil and gas. The practice has become widely contested by environmental activists. Republicans believe a ban on fracking will threaten energy independence for the US. It could also spike the price of oil.
The proposal sparked some harsh criticism, with some voters calling the ban proposal a “deal-breaker” for their support of his campaign. One commentator said it would “plunge the US into a depression” if Kennedy banned the practice just to solve a plastic pollutant crisis.
A few states have already banned fracking, such as Marland, Washington, and Vermont, a federal ban on it would be much more difficult to achieve. New York State also approved legislation to codify a fracking ban in 2021.
Even though many Democrats diverge from much of Kennedy’s platform, his environmental beliefs are one area where he aligns more with the rest of his party.
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