Robert F. Kennedy was greeted with a standing ovation on Wednesday at Campbell Hall on the OSU campus. A Harvard graduate, Kennedy is a professor at the Pace University School of Law, senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, and chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper Fund.

More than two hundred people came to hear him talk about his new book, Crimes Against Nature, and the Bush administration’s irresponsible environmental policies.

Kennedy blamed the public’s ignorance of President Bush’s environmental abuse on the timidity of the national press and the White House Press Corps, whom he referred to as “stenographers.”

One of the problems Kennedy discussed is the particulate emissions from 1100 coal burning plants operating illegally in the country, causing acid rain, sterilization of lakes, accumulation of ozone, and mercury poisoning. Effects of air pollution are thought to be responsible for as many as 5000 deaths per year and a recent increase in cases of asthma in children. Lawsuits from the Clinton-era against many of these plants were ordered to be dropped by Bush after he received a total of more than $100 million from coal companies. Kennedy expressed frustration that corporations can buy their way out of free market controls by paying off politicians, and maintained that coal plant emissions could be drastically reduced if plant owners were to spend only one percent of their profits on technology to allow for cleaner burning.

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