RFK Jr. Making New Documentary Film

17 Jul

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert Kennedy, Jr., In Charleston to Shoot Documentary

New Film to be based on his book, Crimes Against Nature

Story by Kristen Sell

CHARLESTON — Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. met with the president of the West Virginia Coal Association Monday while working on a documentary on mountaintop removal mining.

Kennedy spent the afternoon flying over mountaintop removal sites.

Monday evening, he and West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Rainey met at The Grill on the city’s West Side to discuss the issue.

“It really is one of the hugest acts of theft in history,” said Kennedy of the mining practice.

He engaged in a heated discussion with Rainey about Mountaintop removal, and both held their ground.

“Clearly he doesn’t agree with anything that I purport or stand for and I don’t agree with much he said either,” said Rainey.

Kennedy said the coal industry is destroying West Virginia.”They’ve cut down already 460 mountains in West Virginia, some of the largest mountains in the state. They’ve buried 1,200 miles of streams. Within five years, they’ll have flattened an area of Appalachia the size of Delaware,” Kennedy said.

Rainey said the issue is more complex than that and there is a human element to mining that environmental activists often fail to see. “It just needs to be put in a very human perspective as it involves our people that spend every day of their working life mining coal in a very professional manner,” said Rainey.

Those managing to catch a glimpse of the action were impressed.

“Just like all the other Kennedys. He spoke just like his father,” said Charleston resident Phyllis Rutledge who came to The Grill after hearing Kennedy would be there.

With pros and cons on the table, both hope the documentary will strengthen the state. “I’m trustful and hopeful that it’s going to be beneficial,” Rainey said.

“I would like to see West Virginia look at other ways to employ it’s people,” said Kennedy of his goal of the documentary.

*The above report comes to us from West Virginia Media.

Local TV news station WOWK-TV in Charleston caught up with Kennedy during his visit yesterday. You can see the video here.

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2 Responses to “RFK Jr. Making New Documentary Film”

  1. Charles L. September 5, 2007 at 7:19 am #

    Thank you, Bobby for doing so much to bring these dangerous and environmentally destructive mining practices into the public eye with your new film. I live in West Virginia, and since your visit here a month ago, two more miners have died in preventable accidents.

    A Mingo County coal mine where a worker was killed Monday had not yet received a complete inspection this year by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration! Under federal law, MSHA is supposed to conduct regular, complete inspections of all underground coal mines nationwide once per calendar quarter. Didn’t happen here, and no one wants to explain why not.

    The roof fall at the Bronzite Mine near Nolan was the fourth coal-mining death in West Virginia this year, and the 24th nationwide, according to MSHA’s official count.

    In 2004 and 2005, the mine recorded a nonfatal injury rate that was more than four times worse than the national average.

    Since October 2004, the operation has been fined nearly $16,000 for more than 140 safety violations. This is out of control!!!

    I hope you run for President because I think you are the only one who cares enough about this issue to finally get something done about it. I sure don’t hear Hillary, Obamam or even John Edwards talking about it. God Bless you, Bobby, and please, please run!

  2. margot March 5, 2008 at 4:50 am #

    I respect and admire his outspokenness and only wish I was more eloquent. I have anxiety issues that have finally led me to conclude that I am better off not getting a degree in political science or entering the political arena. But I still voice my opinions as much as my anxiety will allow and value others voicing their beliefs as well.

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