Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst presented her monthly squeal award — which recognizes a wasteful Washington expense — to the Biden administration and specifically White House Climate Envoy John Kerry for officials’ fossil-fueled overseas trips to lecture the world on climate.
After world leaders convened in Egypt for the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27), Ernst, along with Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, requested the Government Accountability Office (GAO) track the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the Biden administration’s travel to the conference.
The GAO report was inconclusive because the “State Department did not track greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. delegation travel to meetings 26 and 27 of the United Nations Conference of the Parties.”
“State officials told us that they did not have a systematic way to calculate greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. delegation travel to COP26, COP27, or any past meetings of the Conference of the Parties,” the GAO reported.
The GAO did find, however, that 191 executive branch staff attended the COP26 in Scotland, and 259 attended the COP27 from across more than a dozen federal agencies.
Despite President Joe Biden signing an executive order instructing agencies to track emissions from travel, the State Department has yet to comply. While federal agencies skirt presidential directives, the Biden administration is also advancing regulations to mandate businesses track and report emissions data.
Within the last year, Kerry led overseas trips on climate to Egypt, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan. At the end of the global conference in Egypt, the White House launched the “Net-Zero Government Initiative” that pledged a government commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.
“The gas is always greener when you’re burning fossil fuels in the name of saving the planet,” Ernst said in a press release. “While giving lip service to greenies, Biden bureaucrats are blatantly emitting the greenhouse gases they demonize. The double standard is clear, and Americans have had enough of this hot air.”
Ernst paired this month’s squeal award with a pledge to reintroduce the Executive Branch Emissions Transparency Act, which Cotton and Capito co-sponsored in the last Congress. The bill would require presidential administrations to track their own use of fossil fuels.
“Joe Biden and his officials say they are addressing an ‘existential’ crisis by participating in climate conferences, all while traveling on private jets to and from the conferences,” Cotton said. “The Biden administration should instead focus its efforts on American energy production — or at the very least, let American taxpayers know about the private travel they are paying for.”
While Western elites lecture the globe on fossil fuels, a recent report sponsored by the RealClear Foundation shows the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) “net zero roadmap is a green mirage.”
According to the Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc., the IEA’s plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 “will dramatically increase energy costs, devastate Western economies, and increase human suffering.”