Trump EPA Chief May Have His Own Expensive Jet Travel Problem

15 Febrero, 2018, 05:23 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Olivier Douliery | Abaca Press | TNS | BDN

"Those are all made by the [security] detail, the security assessment in addition to the chief of staff".

The documents claim that the increased flight costs are due to "unspecified security concerns", the newspaper reported.

The paper said Pruitt confirmed he'd flown first class from Washington, D.C.to Boston for the trip.

Read the rest of The Washington Post's story here. CBS News' Julianna Goldman ‏reported later Tuesday that the outlet had learned Pruitt took an expensive Emirates business class flight - the ticket was at least $7,000, Goldman said - from Milan to Washington last June, part of $43,000 spent on travel for the trip. Pruitt has round-the-clock security detail that costs taxpayers about $2 million per year in salaries, according to CNN. Frequently, he stayed in Tulsa for the weekend, according to travel records released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Pruitt has also racked up thousands of dollars in first-class tickets to events and meetings all over the country.

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EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman defended Pruitt's travel spending."He's trying to further positive environmental outcomes and achieve tangible environmental results" Bowman told the Post, adding that Pruitt is "hearing directly from people affected by the EPA's regulatory overreach".

Such travel decisions, coupled with the EPA's tendency not to publicize Pruitt's out-of-town trips, have prompted criticism from Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups, who have questioned not only how much the agency leader's travel is costing taxpayers, but also how much some of Pruitt's trips have to do with the EPA's mission. Agencies are allowed to authorize first-class travel in rare instances, such as a flight of 14 hours or more, a medical disability, or when "exceptional security circumstances" mean "use of coach class accommodations would endanger your life or government property".

Meanwhile, the inspector general's office is conducting probes of Pruitt's travel past year and the expansion of his security detail, which requires several times the resources of his predecessors.

The EPA did not publicize his visit in advance.

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