A spokeswoman for former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy criticized new agency chief Scott Pruitt Monday for traveling too much to Oklahoma, even though McCarthy was known to travel every weekend to Boston during her time in the Obama administration.
“The American people aren’t paying taxes for part-time Cabinet officials,” Liz Purchia Gannon told Reuters Monday, referring to a recent report showing that Pruitt stayed in his home state of Oklahoma on at least 43 of the 92 days in March, April and May.
Environmental Integrity Project, a watchdog group, obtained copies of his travel records showing that President Donald Trump’s EPA head splits time between Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. to visit his family.
EPA officials contend that Pruitt works long hours and can conduct his job from anywhere in the country.
“Administrator Pruitt works long hours and is available around the clock,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman told reporters. “He is extremely focused and disciplined, which is evident by the fact that he spearheaded over two dozen significant regulatory actions since being sworn in.”
The Obama administration released a daily McCarthy schedule in 2014 that showed what she ddi on a typical day, including the fact that she flew home nearly every weekend to spend time with her family.
“Although she keeps a small apartment near EPA headquarters, almost every weekend McCarthy travels back to Boston, to her home and her husband,” according to the EPA. McCarthy considered lowering the country’s pollution a key part of her duty, but her frequent trips contributed to a significant increase in carbon dioxide levels.
The Daily Caller News Foundation calculated in 2014 that McCarthy’s carbon footprint from airline travel alone was likely around 37.5 tons over four years — more than 3.5 times the average American’s yearly carbon footprint.
Pruitt, who sued the EPA nearly a dozen times during his time as Oklahoma’s AG, meanwhile, has made rolling back President Barack Obama’s climate regulations a key part of his overall duties. He successfully lobbied Trump to leave the Paris climate agreement, a non-binding accord that sought to dramatically reduce the Earth’s temperature.
Purchia Gannon told TheDCNF that Pruitt’s travels were not comparable to McCarthy’s trips to Boston — the former Obama EPA chief’s “travel home was personal and not government funded. She paid for her flights. I don’t ever remember Gina taking a day off, not even on the weekends.”
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