Pete Buttigieg did not take the stage for a performance at SXSW, but rather sat down for an interview with Billboard News to discuss one of his favorite things: The American transportation system. Speaking with host Tetris Kelly, the secretary of transportation provided insight into the government’s plans to develop new infrastructure throughout the United States, touched on how Russia is playing part in skyrocketing gas prices and, of course, discussed some of his favorite musicians.
Buttigieg is not dropping music, he’s instead “dropping 660 billion in infrastructure funds,” he told Kelly.
“This is the biggest investment that the country has made in infrastructure in my lifetime — it’s $1.2 trillion dollars overall and about half of that is for transportation,” the secretary explained. “We’re talking about highways, bridges, transit, trains, ports, airports, pretty much anything connected to transportation, we’re making major investments because we need to take our country’s transportation to the next level.”
Though the changes will take awhile, Americans can expect to see new construction and repairs to original structures as soon as this year, which in turn will help create more jobs within the field of transportation.
Touching on the current gas prices — which according to The New York Times, reached a national average of $4.07 per gallon as of March 8 — Buttigieg revealed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may be playing a role in the numbers Americans are seeing when filling up their tanks.
“The gas prices are connected to oil prices on the global market and we have a major oil producing country go to war, and Russia is an oil producing country,” he said. “That can send shockwaves through the entire global market. You see that at the pump in terms of that pain of seeing those gas prices go up.”
He continued, “The president’s been very focused on things like releasing oil from our strategic reserve that can help settle the prices a little bit, but the truth is, as long as we are depending on fossil fuels, we’re going to be subject to our ups and downs. It’s one of many reasons we’re trying to make it easier and more affordable for more Americans to be able to buy electric vehicles so they’re protected from some of those shockwaves.”
Continuing the theme of transportation, Kelly then asked Buttigieg who he listens to for road trips — the secretary of transportation shared that he’s a big fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s fifth studio album, Cosmo’s Factory. As for his date night playlist, Buttigieg revealed that he and husband Chasten do not have one as they’re busy taking care of their fraternal twins Joseph and Penelope, but did see Brandi Carlile during a night out once. As for his kids, Buttigieg plans to educate them about The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
Watch Buttigieg chat with Tetris Kelly — and struggle with naming several Billboard Hot 100 hits — in the video above.