After several days of backlash on social media, Taylor Swift's representatives have responded to the widespread critiques of her private jet usage. In case you missed it, Swift is one of many stars to be called out online recently for using private jets to travel, causing a shocking amount of carbon emissions. Swift's reps told Entertainment Tonight that the information circulating online isn't accurate.
Swift's reps responded to a study by the digital market firm Yard which relies on information from the Twitter account Celebrity Jets. Celebrity Jets is an automated account that tracks the publicly available flight times of private jets using information from air traffic controllers. Swift's reps say that the problem with this method is that the plane labeled as "Taylor Swift's Falcon 7X" is used by many other individuals and companies.
Taylor Swift's Falcon 7X 825 mile (717 NM) flight from ALB to BNA— Celebrity Jets (@CelebJets) July 30, 2022
~ 752 gallons (2,847 liters).
~ 5,040 lbs (2,286 kg) of jet fuel used.
~ $5,061 cost of fuel.
~ 8 tons of CO2 emissions.
"Taylor's jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals. To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect," a spokesperson for Swift said. Of course, that doesn't answer for all of the criticism leveled against Swift, other celebrities or the private jet industry in general. According to Yard, air travel is "the least environmentally friendly method" of travel available, and "private jets are the worst offenders for emissions per passenger." While the average person is responsible for seven tons of CO2 emissions per year, the average private jet is responsible for 482.37 tons of CO2 emissions per year on top of the passengers' other carbon footprints.
This focus on celebrity private jet emissions began a couple of weeks ago when Kylie Jenner made an Instagram post bragging about the private jets she and her boyfriend Travis Scott own. Upon further inspection, fans realized that not only is Jenner using this inefficient means of travel – she is doing so flippantly, apparently just to save time. At least one flight logged by her private jet was three minutes long, and the same journey would have taken 40 minutes by car. Many other flights were around 15 minutes long and simply traveled from one part of southern California to another.
The flights logged by Swift's jet are similar. Its average flight time is about 80 minutes, and it has taken over 170 flights so far this year. That means the jet itself is responsible for 8,293.54 tons of carbon emissions so far this year – already 1,184.8 times the emissions of the average American.
In the cases of both Jenner and Swift, many critics argue that it doesn't matter all that much whether they were on the plane for these flights. As the owners of these vehicles, critics say they should be held responsible for their output. Many are now supporting new policies like hefty taxes on private planes to prevent the ultra-rich from compounding pollution for their own convenience day after day.
So far, Swift's representatives are the only ones to respond publicly to this outcry. Jenner and her family do not seem to have made a public comment, and the other stars on Yard's list include Jay-Z, A-Rod, Blake Shelton, Steven Spielberg, Kim Kardashian, Mark Wahlberg, Oprah Winfrey and Travis Scott.