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Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, an ardent proponent of reducing carbon emissions, has taken taxpayer-funded private jets rather than commercial planes at least 18 times since he was inaugurated into office, a new report says.
Buttigieg has utilized a private jet fleet whose private records match his schedule of external and public engagements, as Americans for Public Trust (APT) discovered, Fox News stated in an exclusive report.
“Every day Americans face flight [cancellations] and long wait times because Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has completely mismanaged air travel,” APT executive director Caitlin Sutherland opined to Fox News.
“Yet, he gets to avoid all that by taking taxpayer-funded private jets to destinations with readily available commercial airline options,” she continued. “And for someone so holier-than-thou on reducing emissions, Buttigieg sure doesn’t seem to mind the pollution caused by his literal jet-setting. This is hypocrisy at its finest, and these troubling expenses to taxpayers must come under immediate scrutiny.”
In April 2022, Buttigieg stated at a virtual town hall, “When you look at the U.S. economy, transportation accounts for the largest share of our greenhouse gas emissions. To me, that means transportation ought to be responsible for the biggest share of the solution.”
In 2017, then-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, serving in the Trump administration, was found to have taken over 25 private jet flights during that year, which prompted him to resign from the administration.
Democrats leaped on the opportunity to demand Price’s resignation; Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Pramila Jayapal, (D-WA) sent a letter to Price in which they stated:
Earlier this month it emerged that since assuming office as Secretary of Health and Human Services, you have routinely made use of expensive private jets for official travel, bypassing cost-effective alternatives and wasting hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. At a minimum, the American people expect cabinet secretaries to lead with integrity, accept accountability, and use public resources responsibly. In light of your breach of the public trust, we write to urge you to do the right thing and immediately tender your resignation.
Flight data show Buttigieg used taxpayer-funded private jets for a roundtrip from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas in August 2021. He also flew privately to Florida, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, and New Hampshire for a “Building a Better America Tour,” and for a roundtrip journey to Montreal in late September, where he attended an International Civil Aviation Organization conference.
“We’re going to places that demonstrate the range of things you can do with good transportation dollars,” he said, as POLITICO reported.