Bernie Sanders, Climate Hawk, Spends Nearly $300K On Private Jet Travel In Month

Peter Hasson | Reporter

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s re-election campaign spent just under $300,000 on private jet use in October, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show.

The Sanders campaign, which is funded primarily by small-dollar donors, paid Apollo Jets $297,685.50 on Oct. 10, FEC records reveal. The payment was marked for “transportation.”

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a news conference on climate change, on Capitol Hill April 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Senators introduce “The 100 by ’50 Act” climate legislation that would completely phase out the use of fossil fuels in the United States by 2050. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“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, which first reported on the jet expenses.

“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.

Sanders’s private jet use comes despite the senator’s hard-line stance on climate change, which he has consistently called “the single greatest threat facing our planet.”

Because flying generates significantly more greenhouse gases than driving, climate hawks generally advocate against taking unnecessary flights.

“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.

Carbon offsets in theory allow polluters to cancel out their emissions by funding projects aimed at reducing emissions. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Doesn’t ‘Recall’ Flip-Flopping Government Shutdown)

The same day his campaign cut a check to the private jet company, Sanders called climate change a “planetary crisis.”

“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.

Jones said the payment of $4,980 to NativeEnergy will be reflected in the campaign’s Dec. 6 filing, which covers activities after Oct. 17.

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats in Congress, is widely expected to run for president as a Democrat in 2020.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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