Pete Buttigieg didn’t take the stage for a performance at SXSW, but instead sat down for an interview with Billboard News to discuss one of his favorite subjects: the American transportation system. Speaking to Tetris host Kelly, the transport secretary gave an overview of the government’s plans to develop new infrastructure across the US, explained how Russia is playing a role in soaring oil prices essence and, of course, discussed some of his favorite musicians.
Buttigieg isn’t giving up on music, he’s “giving up $660 billion in infrastructure funds,” he told Kelly.
“This is the biggest investment the country has made in infrastructure in my lifetime – it’s $1.2 trillion in total, about half of which was for transportation,” the secretary explained. “We’re talking about highways, bridges, public transport, trains, ports, airports, pretty much anything transport-related, we’re making major investments because we need to move transport from our country to the next level.”
Although the changes will take some time, Americans can expect to see new construction and repairs to original structures as early as this year, which will in turn help create more transportation jobs.
Addressing current gas prices – which, according to The New York Timeshit a national average of $4.07 a gallon as of March 8 – Buttigieg revealed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could play a role in the numbers Americans are seeing when they fill up their tanks.
“Gas prices are tied to oil prices in the world market and we have a major oil producing country going to war, and Russia is an oil producing country,” he said. “It can send shockwaves through the entire global market. You see that at the pump in terms of the pain of seeing those gasoline prices go up.
He continued: “The president has been focused on things like releasing oil from our strategic reserve which can help settle the prices a bit, but the truth is that as long as we are dependent on fossil fuels, we will be subject to our ups and downs. It’s one of the many reasons we’re trying to make it easier and more affordable for more Americans to buy electric vehicles so that they’re protected from some of those shock waves.
Continuing on the transport theme, Kelly then asked Buttigieg who he listens to for road trips – the transport secretary shared that he was a huge fan of Creedence’s fifth studio album Clearwater Revival, The Cosmo factory. As for his evening playlist, Buttigieg revealed that he and husband Chasten didn’t have one as they were busy looking after their fraternal twins Joseph and Penelope, but saw Brandi Carlile at a night out one night. times. As for his children, Buttigieg plans to educate them about the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
Watch Buttigieg chat with Tetris Kelly — and struggle to name several Billboard Hot 100 hits — in the video above.