Old Interviews Reveal RFK Jr.’s Past Support for Higher Gas Prices and Electric Cars


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an independent presidential candidate, had previously voiced his support for higher gasoline prices, arguing that this would lead to a shift in the market towards electric vehicles.

Kennedy has made this argument in several media appearances and at least one address, dating back to 2003. He claimed that ending oil company subsidies, forcing them to pay certain costs associated with oil production would result in gasoline reaching its “true” price of $22 per gallon.

“The No. 1 thing we need to do as a nation, more important than the moonshot, more important than anything else, is to get off of foreign oil, whatever it takes, and I think if we had true markets, we’d spend $5.2 trillion a year on subsidies to the carbon industry, and that doesn’t include the $8 trillion that we spent on wars protecting essentially oil pipelines,” Kennedy said during an interview last year.

He added, “If these companies were forced to internalize the costs, gasoline’s true price would be about $22 per gallon and we would figure out other ways of getting around using American initiative and industrial genius.”

Kennedy made a very similar argument in a speech he gave in 2016 at the University of California in Berkeley. He told the audience that the oil price would rise if the oil companies were forced to internalize the costs of the impacts their industry has on the local population, including healthcare costs, crop damages, acid rain damage, and other pollution costs.

We’d pay $12 for gas and send the right signals to the market. The market would then say that we need an alternate to gasoline cars because Americans would tell him, “Well, driving an electric car costs 0.30 cents per mile, but it costs $4 per mile when you buy a gas car,” he said.

“We would very quickly make the transition and incentivize those who are working on improving lithium-ion battery efficiencies and researching different battery systems.”

He continued to argue that the federal governments should create an “ecosystem”, which would incentivize the most efficient technologies and “punish the inefficiencies of coal and oil.”

Kennedy wrote the same thing in an article published by the Huffington Post in 2014: “If the oil industry was required to pay for the true costs associated with bringing their product to the market, the price of gas at the pump would reach upwards of 12 dollars per gallon.”

He wrote that “most Americans would run to buy electric vehicles.” “With low-cost disruptive technology like cheap, efficient and fast electric cars, and solar and winds technologies poised to replace Big Oil, the Industry is using its grip on the Republican Party in order to permanently embed themselves in our economy, while subverting democracy, American capitalism, free market capitalism, and our sacred belief that God is ethical.

Kennedy also appeared on CNN and argued in 2003 that removing oil company subsidies to the point where consumers pay more for gas would force a reaction from the market.

“There is no one who advocates free market capitalism more than me. I do not believe that the government should tell people what they can buy, or Detroit what it can build. “The problem is that the free market in this case has been distorted,” he said. We give direct subsidies of $6 to $15 billion to the oil industry every year. This allows the oil industry to artificially reduce gasoline prices to around $1.89 per gallon.

“If we paid the real price of gasoline we would pay what Europe and other countries do, which is $5 per gallon. The Americans would then be screaming for Detroit to build cars that could get 40 miles per gallons. Detroit would then give us SUVs with a 40-mile per gallon fuel economy.

Kennedy was asked at the time why automakers didn’t produce more electric cars if they were able to make billions by luring consumers who were unhappy about gas prices. Kennedy responded that there wasn’t a demand at the time as the average price of gasoline was just under $2.

If we raise the price of gasoline to $2.50 per gallon in two or three more years, SUVs with 40 miles per gallon will be produced and we will buy them. He said that the distortion of the free market is caused by the huge subsidies given to the oil companies.

Kennedy’s campaign stated, “Mr. Kennedy is of the opinion that the transition to cleaner energy should never be at the expense those who are least able to afford it.”