GOP Sen.: After TSA Security Failings, Obama Admin. Misplaces Priorities By Focusing On Aircraft Emissions

Airplanes wait to take off at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

In the past two weeks Americans have learned that not only was the Transportation Security Administration unable to detect mock weapons and bombs 96 percent of the time, but it was also unable to identify dozens of aviation workers with terrorist links.

Yet despite the security issues, the Obama administration proposed Wednesday that the danger is not necessarily what could get by TSA but what is being expelled by the aircraft itself.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to find under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commercial aircraft contribute to the pollution that causes climate change, endangering the health and welfare of Americans,” the EPA announced Wednesday.

According to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), who has been sounding the alarm about the TSA’s security failings, the administration is clueless when it comes to distilling what is most important.

“The Obama Administration doesn’t know how to set priorities: This week – as the public learned more about the clear threat of having bombs smuggled onto the front of planes – the White House decided that the nation’s really urgent aircraft issue is the exhaust coming out the back end of planes,” Sasse said Wednesday in reaction to the EPA’s announcement.

The proposed endangerment finding is the first step in the EPA’s move to limit aircraft emissions. The action is open for a 60-day comment period.

“Any future domestic actions toward aircraft engine standards would also be open to public comment and review before they could take effect,” the EPA added in its release.

Last week, the leaked results of a classified inspector general report revealed that TSA failed 67 out of 70 security test trials. Earlier this week, another inspector general report exposed the TSA’s inability to identity 73 aviation workers with links to terrorism. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, on which Sasse sits, held a hearing on the TSA failures Tuesday.