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Climate Envoy John Kerry's Jet-Set Spending Is Getting Plenty of Cloud Cover


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Real Clear Investigations

John Kerry leads an international jet-set life that might exhaust a runway model. If President Biden’s special envoy for climate was not in Washington or relaxing at his mansion near Nantucket Harbor, he could be found in Brazil, Panama, the Bahamas, or Germany. And that’s just in February and March. 

While Kerry trumpets his meetings and appearances around the world, the State Department wraps the rest of his efforts in a cloak of secrecy usually reserved for CIA black box operations. It has refused to specify lists of people he is meeting with and who is advising him as he circles the globe. His office has stonewalled requests for budget and staffing information from legislators and government watchdog groups. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last year by RealClearInvestigations for a breakdown on how the climate envoy’s roughly $16.5 million 2022 budget was spent, the State Department said it could not comply with the request until April 2025, months after both the 2024 election and the expiration of President Biden’s current term. 

 

The secrecy surrounding Kerry’s work is reaching a boiling point with the threat of a congressional subpoena. 

Frustrated that Kerry’s office ignored two previous requests for detailed information about its budget when his party was in the minority, Republican Rep. James Comer, who now heads the House Oversight Committee, sent what he labeled a final courtesy letter on April 25 and added that a subpoena would accompany the next request if Kerry’s “powerful, unchecked position” continued to hide the information. 

“The State Department has not provided any meaningful updates to Committee staff inquiries on the status of producing these documents,” Comer wrote. “Envoy Kerry is engaging in activities that skirt congressional authority, threaten foreign policy under the guise of climate advocacy, and could undermine economic health. Yet, Envoy Kerry and his office are refusing to be transparent about their activities, spending, and staffing with the Committee – and the American people.” :snip:

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