Taylor Swift’s use of her private jet is creating bad blood between her and climate activists.
The singer is reportedly planning to fly from Tokyo to watch her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, play in the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, before flying back to Melbourne for a concert five days later. The 14,000-mile, 29-hour round-trip flight would burn about 8,800 gallons of fuel and create some 90 tons of carbon emissions, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. That’s apparently more than all the carbon emissions that six average Americans will produce this year.
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Since Swift and Kelce started dating, the pop star has been flying around the country to watch his games. (She owns both a Dassault Falcon 900 and a Dassault Falcon 7X.) Swift’s publicist told the Post that she buys carbon offsets to make up for her private-jet travel, but they wouldn’t say what kind or how many offsets the singer has bought.
In general, flying on a private plane is the most carbon-intensive way to travel, with nine times more carbon created per passenger when compared with flying commercial, according to a University College London paper cited in The Washington Post. Some activists have called for bans on private planes altogether, while others have promoted carbon offsets as a way to minimize the net amount of emissions. Elsewhere, taxes have been floated as a way for private fliers to pay for their pollution.
One such proposal currently sitting in Congress would raise the tax on private jet fuel to $1.95 per gallon. (The current tax is 22 cents a gallon.) If that act were to pass, Swift would pay $17,000 in taxes on her trip from Tokyo to Las Vegas to Melbourne. As it stands, she will only put down about $1,900. Others have raised the prospect of taxing private-jet sales or not allowing owners to deduct the cost of flying as a business expense when tax season rolls around.
“We could do something as simple as denying business deductions for private jet travel,” Victoria Haneman, a law professor at the Creighton University School of Law, told the Post. “If you decide to travel by private jet, you bear the expense of it.”
In Swift’s case, her Falcon 900 costs $13.9 million a year to operate, according to Guardian Jet data cited by the newspaper. Her Falcon 7X costs some $5.3 million a year. Haneman doesn’t think that such a change is likely anytime soon, though, calling it “extraordinarily controversial.”
We just as likely won’t be seeing Swift on a commercial jet next month.
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