Energy

GOP Lawmaker Pushes Bill BANNING EPA Officials From Airline Travel

REUTERS/Louis Nastro

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

A Republican lawmaker has proposed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would effectively ban Environmental Protection Agency employees from flying around the country on the taxpayer’s dime.

North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson put forward an amendment barring “funds made available by this Act may be used may be used to pay the costs of any officer or employee of the [EPA] for official travel by airplane.”

As noted by Bloomberg reporter Anthony Adragna, it would basically make it so no EPA employee could fly on an airplane — unless of course they paid for it themselves.

The amendment is likely an effort to get EPA officials to practice what they preach. Republicans have criticized top EPA officials for logging thousands of air travel miles while issuing regulations on how much carbon dioxide can be emitted by power plants, cars and other sources.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and the head of EPA’s clean air office Janet McCabe both said they travel home from Washington, D.C. on weekends to visit their families. McCarthy regularly goes to Boston, Massachusetts, and McCabe heads out to Indianapolis, Indiana on weekends.

McCabe has also spent a lot of time travelling around the country promoting the agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan — a set of rules aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith has sent two letters to EPA in the last few months, asking about McCabe’s travel.

“In light of President Obama’s 2015 Executive Order, as well as McCabe’s role as the EPA’s chief proponent of the Clean Power Plan, McCabe’s routine travel raises significant questions as to her commitment toward furthering the reduction of carbon emissions that she promotes in her official capacity on the taxpayer’s dime,” Smith wrote.

In 2014, the EPA released a photo album titled “A Day In The Life of the EPA Administrator” that shows what McCarthy does on a typical day, including the fact that she flies home nearly every weekend to spend time with her family.

“Yes, Administrator McCarthy flies home regularly to see her family. And yes she is a leader in fighting to protect our environment and improve public health,” the EPA told The Daily Caller News Foundation in 2014.

TheDCNF calculated that, assuming she flew home every weekend, McCarthy’s carbon footprint from airline travel alone was around 37.5 tons over four years — more than 3.5 times the average American’s yearly carbon footprint. That amount has certainly grown in the last two years.

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