(Headline USA) Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., sent a letter to the Biden administration this week demanding that officials disclose just how much President Joe Biden’s trip to the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland cost.
“In addition to the staggering cost of the conference, I am concerned that what appears to be a bloated U.S. delegation will prove counterproductive to the [summit’s] mission,” Barrasso, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a letter sent to the Agriculture, Energy, Interior, Transportation, and Treasury departments.
Biden sent 13 senior U.S. officials, including climate czar John Kerry, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, to Glasgow as a “show of force,” said the White House.
But, as Barrasso noted, the financial and environmental cost of the trip undermined its entire purpose: to supposedly reduce waste and fight climate change.
He accused Biden of “unnecessarily choosing to contribute directly to carbon emissions.”
Barrasso also pointed out that many government bureaucrats are still working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic but were granted permission to travel internationally to Scotland.
“If they cannot go to work here in the U.S., they should not be permitted to attend extravagant conferences across the globe,” Barrasso wrote.
The Republican asked the agencies to reveal how many of their employees attended the conference, and to document the total cost of travel, lodging, food and drink, and “lost work productivity” of the trip.
Hundreds of private jets were flown into Scotland for the climate conference, according to the New York Post, and at least one cruise ship is being used to house conference attendees. Both forms of transportation use massive amounts of fossil fuels.
When asked about this apparent hypocrisy, the White House claimed that what is really important is that Biden is showcasing a “whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis.”