Green New Deal Update: Democrats Spend Big on Private Flights

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sheds a tear during a February 7 press conference calling on Congress to cut funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and defund border detention facilities. SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Democratic Party’s presidential candidates may support the “Green New Deal,” and an end to fossil fuels, but all of the frontrunners are spending large amounts of money on private flights as they jet around the campaign trail.

The Hill reported Friday:

Spending on private flights by Democratic presidential candidates soared over the past three months, from roughly $680,000 in the second quarter to more than $2.2 million in the third fundraising period of the year.

Topping the spending list was former Vice President Joe Biden, who dropped about $924,000 on private air travel …

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg spent nearly $479,000 on private flights over the past three months, up from roughly $300,000 in the second quarter. And Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) used about $253,000 in campaign cash to charter flights, significantly more than the $17,000 she spent in the second quarter.

The Democratic primary field’s leading progressives, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), also saw their private air travel spending swell in the three-month fundraising period.

Other candidates who dropped campaign cash on private flights include Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who spent about $40,500; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who spent about $23,000; and former tech executive Andrew Yang, who spent just under $26,000.

Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, and Yang all support the “Green New Deal,” a plan introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in February that calls for the elimination of fossil fuels by 2030. Of those listed above, only Bullock opposes the plan, calling it “resolution aspiration” at the second debate.

A typical private jet flight on a Cessna Citation XLS jet seating seven passengers would burn just under one ton of carbon per person — about 20% of the average annual global per capita consumption, and about one third of what the total annual per capita consumption of carbon ought to be, according to calculations by the Sierra Club in 2015.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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