Molly Prince | Politics Reporter
Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney grilled environmental experts on their travel methods at a House hearing on climate change while discussing the Green New Deal’s call to phase out air travel.
“My constituents are obviously very concerned about this notion that we are somehow going to transition over the course of 10 years here to an economy that is entirely run on green energy,” Cheney said during a Natural Resources subcommittee hearing. “Certainly, they have concerns about the fossil fuel aspect of that.”
“I have to say, one of the issues that people are particularly concerned about is the extent to which we are no longer going to have air travel, apparently,” Cheney continued, referencing the Frequently Asked Question section of Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal calls to “totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary,” according to Ocasio-Cortez’s website.
Cheney asked the expert panel, comprised of four Democrat and two Republican witnesses, to state how they each arrived in Washington D.C., for the hearing. Four of the six witnesses stated that they traveled by airplane, the very means of transportation they hope to diminish.
The Wyoming congresswoman further questioned the panel on how moving toward net zero emissions over a 10-year period would be executed and how to prioritize who flies and for what reasons.
“I would depend on the FAA and the other federal agencies that focus on air travel to tackle that question,” Chandra Farley, the Director of Just Energy answered. (RELATED: Liz Cheney Urges Republicans To ‘Fight Hard’ Against Democrats’ Socialist Ideas)
“I would assume we’re going to set up a situation where the FAA can tell individual citizens which of their air travel is worthy and important and what isn’t,” Cheney replied. “It would seem to me we would then have a situation where the FAA could say for example, you know what, vacation travel, that’s not essential. We have to make sure that we can do the air travel for the people that really need it, so no vacation travel.”
Unable to get an answer from the panel on whether the Green New Deal would require the government to set up a “vacation commissar,” Cheney asked who among them supports Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal.
After a moment of silence, one of the environmental experts on the panel chimed in to say she supports many of the recommendations outlined in the Green New Deal.
“I would just say that it’s going to be crucially important for us to recognize and understand when we outlaw plane travel, we outlaw gasoline, we outlaw cars, I think actually probably the entire U.S. military, because of the Green New Deal, that we are able to explain to our constituents and to people all across this country what that really means,” Cheney said. “Even when it comes down to something like air travel … that means the government is going to be telling people where they can fly to and where they can’t.”
“I would assume that means our colleagues from California are going to be riding their bicycles back home to their constituents,” Cheney added.
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