Nancy Antoinette

How big a carbon footprint does a transatlantic stampede make?


Moreover, how much does it cost?

It's hard to say, since our leaders in Washington, acting like we live under a monarchy, refuse to tell us.

With 10 percent unemployment and the economy struggling to recover, 20 or more members of Congress, aides and family members nonetheless commandeered three military planes and various commercial flights to the recent waste-of-space Copenhagen climate summit.

That the summit produced nothing is bad enough. That it cost taxpayers untold hundreds of thousands is adding insult to injury.

But far worse than the outrage of such an expensive junket is how arrogant and imperious trip organizer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been in refusing to be held accountable for the ill-fated adventure.

CBS News reports that it tried, and failed, to tally the taxpayers' bill for the congressional jaunt.

"Many referred us to Speaker Pelosi, who wouldn't agree to an interview," the network reported. "Her office said it 'will comply with disclosure requirements,' but wouldn't give us cost estimates or even tell us where they all stayed."

Not even the queen of England conducts herself as much like a monarch.

All CBS News could do was estimate some of the costs -- including $168,000 for the three military planes. There were also 321 hotel bookings, many at a five-star hotel, the network said. "Nobody we asked would defend the super-sized congressional presence on camera."

Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense told CBS News, "Every penny counts. Congress should be shaking the couch cushions looking for change, rather than spending cash for everybody to go to Copenhagen."

As for the carbon footprint for the trip? Says CBS News: "They produced enough climate-stunting carbon dioxide to fill 10,000 Olympic swimming pools. Which means even if Congress didn't get a global agreement, they left an indelible footprint all the same."

Even liberal-leaning CNN's commentator Jack Cafferty had choice words for the speaker of the House and her conduct in this caper:

"It's a disgrace. People are suffering in this country," Cafferty said. "What a horrible woman she is."

Arrogant and imperious, for certain.