EPA chief Scott Pruitt during a two-week stretch in June took first-class and business flights and used a military jet to travel from Cincinnati to New York, costing taxpayers at least $90,000, according to a report published by The Washington Post.
The amount includes ticket costs for his aides and security personnel, who usually flew coach, according to the Post. The D.C. paper, with help from the Environmental Integrity Project, obtained receipts from the EPA showing the figures.
It’s the second time Pruitt's travel has been scrutinized since he took over as head of the Environmental Protection Agency last February, and comes as the EPA inspector general investigates his use of taxpayer money to travel following reports he had taken at least four noncommercial and military flights since mid-February that cost more than $58,000.
The funds being dissected during the two week stretch in June include:
- $1,641.43 first-class ticket for a flight from D.C. to New York City
- $36,068.50 flight on a military jet from Cincinnati to New York so Pruitt could make his flight to Rome for the G-7 climate meeting
- $7,003.52 first-class round-trip flight from New York to Rome for a visit with the Pope, tours of the Vatican and to attend the G-7 climate meeting
EPA Spokeswoman Liz Bownan told the Post that Pruitt's travel expenses had been cleared by federal ethics officials.
"He's trying to further positive environmental outcomes and achieve tangible environmental results" through his travel, she said, adding that in the case of the New York trip, "He's communicating the message about his agenda and the president's agenda."
Pruitt on June 5 flew to New York to make TV appearances praising President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement.
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