Simply put, Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s EPA administrator, loves to spend taxpayer money while helping his industry buddies destroy the environment. I guess he doesn’t realize or care that we all have to live on this planet, and also he really likes our money.
Did I mention he likes spending our money? Also he’s super paranoid – why would an EPA Administrator need a cone of silence?
Scott Pruitt is bonkers bananas.
Multiple senior EPA officials, including a career official and political appointees, were sidelined or demoted after they raised concerns or pushed back on the amount of money Pruitt has spent as EPA chief on expenses such as travel as well as his management of the agency. http://time.com/money/5230681/scott-pruitt-controversial-spending/
Pruitt stayed in a condo co-owned by Vicki Hart, a lobbyist whose husband, J. Steven Hart, works for Williams and Jensen, a notorious lobbying firm that works for industrial polluters. A Bloomberg report said the deal on the condo gave Pruitt a price of $50 a night for a bedroom, and only on nights when he slept there. This is a blatant conflict of interest, and is disqualifying all on its own.
Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter to the inspector general of the EPA that said Pruitt’s constant security included even personal trips to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl.
The Environmental Integrity Project obtained heavily redacted documents from the EPA that showed the agency spent more than $30,000 on security for Pruitt’s 2017 trip to Italy.
A report from The Washington Post in mid-March said documents the EPA provided to Congress outlined further travel expenses from Pruitt, totaling about $68,000 and including a nearly $20,000, four-day trip to Morocco and a series of first class flights.
CNN reported in early March that Pruitt was one of four Cabinet-level officials the White House scolded in February over stories about questionable ethics at their agencies.
In February, questions over Pruitt’s travel prompted House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy to announce an inquiry into Pruitt’s practices, and in response to the committee’s request for documents, the EPA did not appear to turn over travel waivers granted to Pruitt for first-class travel.
Pruitt defended his first-class travel in February by saying it was for security purposes, citing the “toxic environment” in politics and implying he was less likely to face threats in a first-class crowd.
EPA documents reviewed by CNN in February showed attorneys for Pruitt’s office justifying a series of charter flights last summer, including some $14,000 expended on travel around Oklahoma.
In early October, the EPA inspector general said it was expanding its probe into Pruitt’s travel, and the EPA told CNN that Pruitt used both a private plane and military jet to travel four times instead of flying commercial — at a price of $60,000.
Government records showed the EPA granted a roughly $25,000 contract last August for a highly secure, sound-proof booth — known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) — for Pruitt. Former EPA employees said the agency had already maintained a private room.
In August, the inspector general for the EPA said it was investigating Pruitt’s travel back home to Oklahoma after a hotline complaint and expressions of concern from Congress followed travel records obtained by the Environmental Integrity Project that showed Pruitt spent an extensive amount of time traveling.
EPA is fighting a lawsuit from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility that alleges the Pruitt administration is deliberately avoiding creating written records of meetings and decisions (so that there are no documents subject to leaking or FOIA) and that Pruitt “uses phones other than his own to deal with important EPA-related matters so the calls do not show up in his call logs.”