Six months before Election Day, speculation is rampant about the impact of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Polling at 12% nationally and on the ballot of the critical battleground of Michigan, the Democrat-turned-independent has built a unique coalition that extends beyond those drawn to his famous last name.

Kennedy’s tough talk on the southern border, willingness to stand up to the medical-industrial state and focus on fitness and personal health have earned him unlikely admirers on the right.

Recent polling data shows nearly half, 48%, of all Republicans view Kennedy favorably, compared to 43% of independents and 35% of Democrats.

But make no mistake: On energy — one of the core issues that has defined the Biden presidency from its outset — Kennedy is an extremist.  

His policies would go even further than Joe Biden’s, even though the president’s have weakened our security, slammed middle-class families’ budgets and set our nation backward.

A quick check of the tape reveals startling similarities between the two.

Biden declared climate change, the “only existential threat humanity faces.” Kennedy labels global warming “the biggest crisis we face globally.”

Biden vowed to “end fossil fuel.” Kennedy has bemoaned “our longtime deadly addiction to coal and oil.”

Kennedy would ban exports of liquefied natural gas. He has praised the Green New Deal, the brainchild of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He once denigrated those dubious of some climate warnings as “traitors.”

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, RFK Jr. actually denounced the environmental impact of hog producers as a “greater threat to the United States and US democracy than Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.”

Comments that egregious would have tanked most politicians, but US politics in the pre-social-media age were very different than today. 

Kennedy rose to prominence as an attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, one of the nation’s best-funded environmental activist groups — and one that’s faced criticism for its coziness with the Chinese Communist Party.

These facts matter. Biden has used the power of the presidency to wage war on the energy industry.

During his first days in office, with a simple stroke of his pen, he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and halted oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

His signature legislative “accomplishment” during the first half of his first term was the sweeping climate-oriented Build Back Better plan that eventually morphed into the “slimmed down” Inflation Reduction Act — which included $369 billion of green giveaways while doing little to tame inflation.

His administration has targeted gas cars, gas stoves and even dishwashers in pursuit of the green agenda.

Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a rule that will effectively force coal plans to shut down.

The results have not been pretty: The national average price of a gallon of gas this week costs $3.65, compared to $1.84 at this point in May 2020.

That’s a 98% spike, and we’re still weeks away from Memorial Day and the peak summer driving season that brings even higher prices.

Of course, four years ago, the nation was in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, whose sweeping stay-at-home mandates drove demand down.

Kennedy heralded the environmental benefits of lockdown orders that destroyed our economy for reducing “lethal air pollution + associated #mortality.” 

He may oppose mandated vaccines, but Kennedy would gladly lock down the nation if he thought it would fix the climate. 

To be sure, Kennedy’s charisma, authenticity and personality ensures he will remain at the center of the conversation.

His ubiquitous media presence and willingness to talk to different audiences have served him well.

Voters are free to cast their ballots for whomever they want, but they should do with all the facts: Undoing the damage of the Biden presidency begins by reversing his misguided war on energy, which has made the world unsafe and life in America very expensive.

On this most critical issue, Kennedy would take America even further in the wrong direction, away from energy dominance and more reliant on China, compromising our very economic and national security. 

The green agenda Biden embraced would become a permanent chokehold under Kennedy. Those on the left and right should fear that.

Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, which advocates for US energy jobs.

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