President Joe Biden and his top officials are increasingly coming under fire for their private plane use, even as the administration is determined to limit greenhouse emissions of the kind those jets produce in abundance.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and even Biden himself have all faced scrutiny for use of private jets fueled by carbon compounds and taxpayer dollars.
Most recently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has turned down repeated requests for information related to the taxpayer costs of 23 flights Buttigieg and his advisers took on government private jets since taking office.
The DOT and the agency’s Freedom of Information Act office both declined to detail how much each flight cost taxpayers over the course of multiple months and in recent weeks. The stonewalling comes amid an ongoing inspector general audit of Buttigieg’s use of the planes, which are part of a small fleet managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“It’s inexcusable that Secretary Buttigieg’s agency is hiding the detailed costs of these taxpayer-funded flights,” Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of watchdog group Americans for Public Trust, told Fox News Digital. “Federal law dictates a timely release of exactly these types of records to the public.”
“The American people are entitled to know the true cost of Buttigieg and his entourage of staffers flying private to destinations that have readily available commercial options.”
Last month, John Kerry’s family quietly sold their private jet to a New York-based hedge fund following intense criticism of the plane’s carbon footprint in light of Kerry’s work fighting global warming.
Fox News Digital reviewed FAA registration information that revealed that Kerry family’s private jet, a Gulfstream GIV-SP, is no longer owned by his family’s charter firm, Flying Squirrel LLC, according to FAA registration information reviewed by Fox News Digital.
In financial filings submitted since joining the Biden administration, Kerry had reported that his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, owned a stake worth more than $1 million in the firm.
Last year, Fox News Digital reporting revealed that Biden’s regular trips to his home state of Delaware have cost taxpayers at least $11 million since the start of his presidency, as of November 2022.
Biden made 57 trips to Delaware, spanning all or part of 185 days, according to data from former CBS correspondent Mark Knoller.
The trips require taxpayer dollars to fund costs associated with the use of either Air Force One or Marine One as well as security costs for the Secret Service. The president spends time in Delaware at his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach.
The entanglements of the president and his top brass with private jet fiascos come even as Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters that Biden and the caucus have formed “an incredibly strong partnership” so far and that he is America’s “most progressive president” in years.