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Memo to House Speaker Pelosi: Call Mark Fields before planning air travel

While she may back higher fuel economy standards for cars, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is demanding a fullsize passenger jet to shuttle her back and forth to California. The previous House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, was given an Air Force plane for travel following the 9-11 disaster. The Speaker of the House is second in the line of succession to the presidency, and administration officials felt there were security concerns. The Bush administration is extending the offer to Speaker Pelosi, but she wants a bigger plane than Hastert used. He flew on a small commuter jet while Pelosi wants a C-32 (shown), the Air Force's version of a Boeing 757. In an AP story, Pelosi's says the smaller plane isn't as secure because it would have to make a refueling stop between Washington DC and California. On Wednesday night's edition of Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said a round trip flight will cost the taxpayers $300,000. The plane comes with 16 crew members when it flies.

In her new position as Speaker, Pelosi wants to address global warming and increasing fuel economy standards for cars and trucks is a major point of those plans. But given a choice between the Hummer and Camry of the aviation world, she goes for the big-boy toys!

[Source: Rowan Scarborough & Charles Hurt / The Washington Times]

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