When petrol prices reached all-time highs, Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg urged Americans to buy electric vehicles. It would not only help with gas prices, he claimed, but it would also help save the earth.
However, new data reveal that Buttigieg has a history of exploiting government funds to fly in gas-guzzling private planes.
What are the specifics?
Buttigieg has traveled on private jets run by the Federal Aviation Admin. at least 18 times since becoming Transportation Secretary. According to Fox News, he has used private jets to travel to Nevada, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.
Buttigieg flew to Canada in September on a private plane to attend the Global Civil Aviation Group conference. During that trip, he did, however, attend an event sponsored by a Canadian homosexual rights group, where he got an award recognizing his “contributions towards the promotion of LGBTQ rights.”
Taxpayers must cover the costs of the flights, but it is unclear how much taxpayer funds Buttigieg has spent to fly private.
According to previous reports, the FAA costs federal agencies at minimum $5,000 an hour to use its fleet.
It’s unclear how Buttigieg’s extravagant travel fits into the Federal Travel Regulations for federal workers, which specify specifically that “taxpayers should spend no more than needed for your travel.”
Buttigieg’s use of private jets is especially significant because prior dept. secretaries have been chastised for utilizing taxpayer funds to fly private. Tom Price, the Trump administration’s Director of Health and Human Services, even resigned following his inappropriate use cost over $1 million and squandered hundreds of thousands of federal dollars.
How did he react?
Buttigieg’s use of private jets was supported by a spokesperson for the Transportation Dept.
“Secretary Buttigieg primarily travels by commercial plane and has mandated that travel and logistical choices be based on responsible and efficient use of public resources,” a representative for the administration told Fox News. “Because commercial air travel is frequently the most cost-effective option for the Sec. and his team, 108 of the 126 flights on DOT travels he has taken have all been on commercial carriers.”