April 22, 2010

NYC AVIATION: Obama and Biden to Celebrate Earth Day by Tying Up New York Air Traffic.

On a day when many Americans will be reflecting upon how they can reduce their impact on the environment, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will board separate jets in Washington on Earth Day morning to fly 250 miles up the east coast to New York, where they will land at separate airports to attend separate events within a few miles of each other.

The parallel visits of Air Force One (a 747/VC-25 aircraft) and Air Force Two (a 757/C-32A aircraft) will delay dozens, if not hundreds of commercial flights at Kennedy and LaGuardia and other nearby airports as no-fly zones are implemented. Jets will be forced to circle and burn more fuel as they wait for the VIPs to come and go. Their security contingents consisting of dozens of cars, SUVs and helicopters will burn even more. Throw in thousands of commuters’ cars and delivery trucks sitting idle in traffic as law enforcement closes large swaths of the city and you have yourself a very Earth-unfriendly day. . . .

Thursday’s dual jaunt seems especially egregious considering the frivolous nature of Biden’s visit, in particular: He’ll be yukking it up with Whoopi and Barbara as a guest on The View. Not sure what he’ll be talking about, but you can be certain that whatever he has to say could be done just as effectively using a video camera and satellite hookup from the White House.

Carbon-footprint worries, like taxes, are for the little people.

UPDATE: Reader Tom Parker writes: “Not to mention delaying thousands of passengers trying to get home from the volcano delays.” More unintended consequences.

And reader David Winslow writes: “If they’re both needing to go (certainly a questionable proposition) we should consider the additional pollution emitted by separate aircraft as more than worth the risk, considering the fear that the words ‘President Pelosi’ should inspire in us all.” True, but does Biden really need to go anywhere?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader T.C. Lynch writes: “Whatever happened to ‘Amtrak Joe’? Acela don’t cut it on a VP’s salary?”

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