The head of a major flight attendant union praised Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal last week, saying the radical vision poses no threat to the future of air travel.
“[F]light attendants and airline workers have been told by some pundits that the Green New Deal…will ground all air travel. That’s absurd,” wrote Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants.
The Green New Deal calls for “overhauling the transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.” This, according to Ocasio-Cortez’s office, would be accomplished in part by “build[ing] out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”
In a nutshell, the Green New Deal, aims to make commercial air travel obsolete, leaving Ms. Nelson, the 50,000 flight attendants she represents, and 11 million other Americans employed by the aviation industry without jobs. This of course would not be the only side effect of this ill-conceived plan, which would leave more than 2.6 million passengers every day searching for alternative transportation.
As to the highspeed train proposition, just ask California, Florida, or Illinois about their failed attempts to build multibillion dollar rail projects. Cost overruns, permitting nightmares, safety concerns, and public resistance only begin to describe the headwinds that have persistently derailed proposed highspeed rail projects in the U.S.