EPA says Pruitt took chartered, military flights costing taxpayers more than $58,000
Riccardo Savi / Stringer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Wednesday night that its administrator, Scott Pruitt, took at least one chartered flight and multiple government flights, adding his name to the list of cabinet members whose travel is under scrutiny.
The information was provided in response to a letter from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, who is on the congressional oversight committee that asked for documents related to Pruitt’s travel.
Below are four flights cited that cost taxpayers more than $58,000.
June 7: Military flight from Andrews to Covington, Ohio, then to New York. The EPA cites time constraints due to Pruitt’s participation in the G-7 as a reason they could not take a commercial flight. Cost: $36,068
July 27: Charter flight from Tulsa, Ok. to Guymon Municipal airport in Oklahoma. EPA said there were no commercials flights to Guymon, which is about 330 miles away from Tulsa, to meet with the Panhandle Irrigators Association and landowners about the Waters of the United States rule. Cost: $14,434
This flight was listed as an interagency agreement with the Department of Interior and a spokesman from Pruitt’s office tweeted Wednesday night that it was an Interior Dept. plane.
August 4: Charter flight from Denver to Durango, Colorado. EPA says Pruitt’s flight was delayed and he would have missed a meeting on the Gold King Mine. The governer’s office offered a seat on his plane but there was only one seat available. Cost: $5,719
August 9: Flew on the North Dakota governor’s plane. Cost (as an in-kind contribution): $2,144
Public Affairs Officer Liz Bowman tweeted Wednesday that the administrators flies commercial and that these are the only non-commercial flights he has taken.
The EPA Inspector General began an audit of Pruitt’s travel after reports that he spent his first months in office frequently traveling home to Oklahoma. Those trips were based on documents released that covered his travel expenses between March and May of this year. The organization that obtained them, the Environmental Integrity Project, says more recent documents have not been released.
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