Former presidential candidate and climate change advocate Bernie Sanders spent almost $300,000 during his 2018 reelection campaign on a private jet service, according to VTDigger.org.
“According to federal campaign finance reports, Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator’s official 2018 Senate campaign committee, spent $297,685.50 with Apollo Jets, a private charter jet service headquartered in New York,” VTDigger reported.
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When questioned about the seeming outlandish expense, the senator’s office attempted to justify their actions by recounting what the jet was used for.
“This expense was for transportation for the senator’s 9-day, 9-state tour to support Democratic candidates up and down the ballot ahead of Election Day,” campaign spokeswoman Arianna Jones told local website VtDigger.com
“This cost covered the entirety of the tour from Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, California, and back to Vermont,” Jones said.
While the use of a jet for transportation is not uncommon for campaigns like the senator’s, Sanders has taken such a vocal stance on carbon emissions and climate change, that he even called it “the single greatest threat facing our planet.”
Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. On Nov 6th, we must show up at the polls from coast to coast and stand with candidates who are willing and ready to accelerate our transition to clean energy, and finally put people before the profits of polluters.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 18, 2018
According to the Daily Caller, flying generates significantly more greenhouse gases than driving, which is why the latter is advocated by those who are concerned with climate change.
“The campaign purchased carbon offsets from NativeEnergy to support renewable energy projects and invest in carbon reduction projects to balance out the emissions produced on the trip,” Jones told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The theory is that carbon offsets the pollutants, to cancel out the emissions that the travel would have produced, and overall balances out the scales.
Jones told the Daily Caller that the payment of $4,980 to NativeEnergy will be reflected in the campaign’s Dec. 6 filing, which covers activities after Oct. 17.
However, the same day that the check was written to the jet company, Sanders called climate change a “planetary crisis” on social media.
“Climate change is a planetary crisis. Our task is clear. We must take on the fossil fuel industry that’s largely responsible for global emissions and accelerate our transition toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources,” Sanders wrote in an Oct. 10 tweet.
Climate change is a planetary crisis. Our task is clear. We must take on the fossil fuel industry that's largely responsible for global emissions and accelerate our transition toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources. https://t.co/661WsIZJYt
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 10, 2018