Environmental Protection Agency officials considered leasing a private plane for Administrator Scott Pruitt for $100,000 a month, according to a report in The Washington Post that comes as Pruitt is facing a number of ethics questions.
Current and former agency officials told the Post that Pruitt's team explored an estimate with NetJets, a firm that leases private jets, but the six-figure contract was too high. The arrangement was discussed before Tom Price resigned as secretary of health and human services over his use of a private jet for official business.
"This is not news," EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement to the Post on Monday. "EPA's [chief financial officer] regularly receives solicitations for this type of travel, we did our due diligence, found it was not as cost efficient and continued to fly commercial."
The Post report comes one week after ABC News reported Pruitt paid just $50 a night to stay in a luxury Capitol Hill condominium linked to a prominent Washington lobbyist whose firm represents a roster of fossil fuel companies.
The Inspector General for the EPA is also investigating Pruitt's travel habits in the first half of 2017, which included non-commercial and military flights that cost more than $58,000, and the installation of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office.
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