SASKATOON - The nephew of former U.S president John F. Kennedy says Saskatchewan should be moving towards cleaner energy.
Speaking in Saskatoon, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said the province has tremendous potential for wind and solar power.
Kennedy suggested Saskatchewan relies too much on coal-burning power plants.
He said such energy is too expensive for taxpayers and harms the environment.
Saskatchewan is one of the most coal dependent regions per capita in North America.
Kennedy gave the keynote addressed at an economic conference sponsored by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
"The issue is the illusion that you have cheap coal here," he said "Coal is heavily subsidized and it's imposing far greater costs on the people of Saskatchewan. If you took the whole community costs, it would be much cheaper to power this province on wind and solar."
The "catastrophic" environmental impact isn't part of any economic equation, he added.
"This is one of the costs of coal that they don't tell you about when they say that it's 11 cents a kilowatt hour. I would bet you ... that every fish in Saskatchewan has dangerous levels of mercury in its flesh because of coal-burning power plants."
Kennedy is currently serving as a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council in America.
Related on HuffPost:
Pollution By Province
Here's a list of each province's contribution to Canada's overall emissions in 2009.<br><br>Source: <a href="http://nrtee-trnee.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/reality-check-report-eng.pdf" target="_hplink">National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.</a> Data. from Environment Canada. (Alamy)
P.E.I. - 0 Per Cent
P.E.I's 2009 contribution was 2 megatonnes carbon-dioxide equivalent (Mt) or less than 1 per cent of Canada's total. (MICHEL VIATTEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Newfoundland And Labrador - 1 Per Cent
Newfoundland and Labrador's 2009 contribution was 10 Mt. (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/60548141@N00/" target="_hplink">Flickr: magnolia1000</a>)
New Brunswick - 3 Per Cent
New Brunswick's 2009 contribution was 18 Mt. (Luke Pinneo/Getty Images)
Manitoba - 3 Per Cent
Manitoba's 2009 contribution was 20 Mt. (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jezz/">Flickr: Jezz's Photostream</a>
Nova Scotia - 3 Per Cent
Nova Scotia's 2009 contribution was 21 Mt. (Tim BREAKMEIE/AFP/Getty Images)
B.C. - 9 Per Cent
B.C.'s 2009 contribution was 64 Mt. (PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)
Saskatchewan - 11 Per Cent
Saskatchewan's 2009 contribution was 73 Mt. (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/justaprairieboy/">Flickr: Just a Prairie Boy's photostream</a>)
Quebec - 12 Per Cent
Quebec's 2009 contribution was 82 Mt. (Alamy)
Ontario - 24 Per Cent
Ontario's 2009 contribution was 165 Mt. (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
Alberta - 34 Per Cent
Alberta's 2009 contribution was 234 Mt. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)