Paying for Coal
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sat down with Video4Good at the 2012 COMMIT!Forum in New York. In an extended interview, Kennedy discusses his career in the environmental movement and the impacts of business on the planet. He explores the roots of environmental problems, analyzes the current situation and offers solutions for creating a healthy, prosperous future for society and the natural world.
In this video, Part Three of the interview, he explains how corporations that externalize their costs to society, particularly environmental impacts, negatively affect market efficiencies and the democratic process.
I spent a lot of time in West Virginia litigating against the coal industry. There’s 3,000 coal roads in West Virginia that have 22 inch asphalt on them. 18 to 22 inches and every inch costs the taxpayer millions of dollars, and the reason they have that is because the coal trucks weigh 40,000 pounds and they pulverize the surface. But it’s not the coal companies that are paying for those roads. It’s the taxpayers of the state.
So, that’s an externalized cost of coal - a rather minor one but it’s emblematic of what they do, in every aspect of their business...