EPA's Scott Pruitt also used private plane for government business

Posted September 29, 2017

"This is just more evidence EPA Administrator Pruitt doesn't give a rip about protecting people from pollution", said Environmental Working Group President and Co-Founder Ken Cook.

In the case of Price, The Hill reports that his private air travel "reportedly cost taxpayers some $400,000" since he's been on the job.

CBS News reported Wednesday that Pruitt and other EPA staff took a private flight July 27 from Tulsa to Guymon, Oklahoma, where Pruitt spoke to farmers about his plans to nix the Obama administration's Waters of the United States rule.

A spokesman for the EPA told the cable news network that the use of the military plane was necessary "due to logistical obstacles and the need to schedule meetings with the Vatican before the G7 Summit". The contract for the booth, due for delivery by October 9, was first reported by The Washington Post.

Pruitt and three staffers flew on a private plane costing more than $5,700 to an event in Colorado in August.

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Former EPA officials disclosed that the agency already had an SCIF.

According to CNN, Pruitt used private and military jets over the summer instead of choosing cheaper, commercial flights.

The audit was "initiated based on congressional requests and a hotline complaint, all of which expressed concerns about Administrator Pruitt's travel-primarily his frequent travel to and from his home state of Oklahoma at taxpayer expense. As someone who spent a lot of time in the administrator's office, I can tell you that there was nothing like this", Liz Purchia, former head of communications at EPA, told CNN.

EPA officials signed a $24,750 contract with a company Acoustical Solutions, whose consultant Steve Snider told the Washington Post that it was "essentially a secure phone booth that couldn't be breached from a data point of view or from someone standing outside eavesdropping".

Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, Rep. Scott Tipton and other state officials on the second anniversary of the spill, though the EPA never officially announced ahead of time that Pruitt would be attending, and members of the media were not invited to join the tour.

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"This seems like the height of paranoia to me".

In the past, the agency had a so-called Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) on a different floor where anyone with the proper clearance could go when sharing classified information.

Former EPA general counsel Avi Garbow also said he was unaware that any modifications or additions needed to be made to the EPA's SCIF.

The agency's inspector general is also looking into special agents being pulled from their regular posts investigating environmental crimes to work as Pruitt's 24/7 security detail.

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