Judicial Watch: Obama Attendance at Paris Climate Change Conference Cost Taxpayers $4,165,068.40
JULY 26, 2016
Updated 1:15 pm ET 7/26/2016
Obama Travel Cost Taxpayers over $83 million to Date
(Washington DC)—Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained records from the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of the Air Force detailing the costs of Obama’s trip to attend the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference. Secret Service charges for Obama and his staff to attend the Conference cost taxpayers $1,324,171.60. Flight expenses cost $2,840,896.80, bringing the total expenditure for the conference to at least $4,165,068.40. To date, Obama’s known travel expenses total $83,795,502.33.
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for these documents on January 6, 2016. The records were released in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed on May 6, 2016, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:16-cv-00863)).
The Secret Service expense report is as follows:
- $82,991.60 was spent on air and rail travel.
- $706,065 was spent on Parisian hotels.
- $531,598 for rental vehicles.
- $10,820 in overtime pay was run up.
- Cell phones were rented for $2,562.
- Cell phone usage cost $679.
- A copier was rented for $652.
- $624 in “miscellaneous” expenses.
The Secret Service detail stayed in a number of Parisian hotels. The most money was spent at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand, a historic hotel built in 1862 that is called a “luxury” hotel that “defines historic grandeur,” according to its website. Accommodations were also booked at the Hilton Astor, Marriott Ambassador, Marriott Rive Gauche, and Mercure Tour Eiffel.
According to Air Force documents two planes were used for the trip to Paris, both Air Force One and a C-32A (which is generally used by either the secretary of state or the first lady):
- Air Force One travelled a total of 14.4 hours @ $180,118 per hour for a total of $2,593,699.20.
- The C-32A travelled 15.6 hours @ $15,846 per hour for a total of $247,197.60.
Other expenses for additional cabinet members’ travel and catering, Secret Service meals, meeting rooms, etc. are not included in these totals.
The controversial Paris Climate Conference, also known as COP21, spanned from November 30, 2015, to December 12, 2015. Travel to the conference reportedly burned 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide, seemingly defeating the purpose of the meeting of world leaders. Critics also contend President Obama’s executive action implementing the Paris Climate Agreement circumvents the constitutional requirement that treaties become law only after ratification by the U.S. Senate.
“Obama’s Paris junket is another example of wasteful and unnecessary presidential travel that abuses the taxpayers, the military, and the U.S. Secret Service,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.