Pruitt has come under scrutiny over his accommodations in Washington after ABC News reported last week that he rented a room in a luxury townhouse co-owned by the wife of a top gas industry lobbyist. That same day, Bloomberg News reported that Pruitt paid $50-a-night for the room, well below market value for a place in that neighborhood. The EPA’s Office of General Counsel issued a hasty memo on Thursday arguing that the administrator paid a fair rate.
… Pruitt’s use of taxpayer-funded security details on trips home to Tulsa, Oklahoma, a family vacation to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and an outing to the Rose Bowl college football game in Pasadena, California.
…Federal regulations require government employees to be “prudent” when “making official travel arrangements” and book “the least expensive class of travel that meets their needs.”
Yet Pruitt spent between $2,000 and $2,600 on first-class flights to Oklahoma, and regularly books $1,400 to $4,000 flights to Boston, New York and Corpus Christi, Texas, according to The Washington Post. He often stays at luxury hotels.
Pruitt’s international travel costs are especially high. His trip to Italy for an environmental summit last June cost more than $120,000. Pruitt’s trip to Morocco in December to promote liquefied natural gas ― a bizarre decision for an EPA administrator ― cost nearly $40,000, according to E&E News.
… Pruitt made his name on the national stage suing the EPA more than a dozen times to block rules such as the Clean Power Plan, President Barack Obama’s landmark greenhouse gas regulation, which Pruitt is in the process of repealing. He championed Exxon Mobil Corp. in investigations into whether the oil giant committed fraud by covering up evidence that emissions from burning fossil fuels warm the planet.