2004 failed presidential candidate and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry fumed during a recent House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, during which he was asked about his use of private planes and lashed out with a furious response.
That came when Rep. Cory Mills of Florida snidely remarked to Kerry that he hoped “it wasn’t too problematic for your operational team and your private jet to get here.” Kerry, who did not deny traveling on a private jet in the past but did object to it being called his jet, lashing out at Rep. Mills in response.
Beginning, Kerry called claims of his having a private jet “one of the most outrageously persistent lies,” telling Rep. Mills, “I just don’t agree with your facts, which began with the presentation of one of the most outrageously persistent lies that I hear, which is this private jet.)
Continuing, Kerry insisted that he doesn’t have a private jet and hasn’t ever owned one, telling Rep. Mills, “We don’t own a private jet. I don’t own a private jet. I personally have never owned a private jet. And obviously it’s pretty stupid to talk about coming in a private jet from the State Department up here. I just honestly, if that’s where you want to go, go.”
As background, while Kerry personally doesn’t own a private jet, his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, owns a large stake in a private company called Flying Squirrel LLC. That company is a charter company that itself owns a private jet on which Kerry has traveled. So, while Kerry’s insinuation was that he doesn’t much use private jets because he doesn’t own one, his wife does own a stake in a charter company that uses private jets to move him around.
After the hearing, a State Department spokesperson argued that Sec. Kerry flies commercially, saying, “Secretary Kerry has never owned a private jet, flies commercially, and is actively working on initiatives like the First Movers Coalition, which has helped major airlines like Delta and United in their commitment to invest in sustainable aviation fuels that reduce greenhouse pollution while allowing Americans to continue to enjoy travel. Secretary Kerry has never owned any stake in Flying Squirrel LLC.”
But, even if that’s true now, Kerry and his family have used one in the recent past. Fox News found in a July of 2022 report that “Kerry’s family jet, a Gulfstream GIV-SP, has made a total of 48 trips lasting more than 60 hours and emitted an estimated 715,886 pounds, or 325 metric tons, of carbon since President Biden was sworn into office.”
That heavy use of private planes and the emissions entailed by doing so comes despite Kerry’s vociferous arguments about climate change, giving his actions and arguments a very “for thee but not for me” feel.
Kerry, for his part, argued that it was not hypocrisy for him to be constantly yelling about climate change while having used a private plane to jet set around the world, saying, “We’re not asking Americans not to fly. You’re trying to create an unequal thing. We’re not saying, ‘Don’t fly.‘”