Energy

Dicey Situations Flying Coach Prompted Pruitt’s First Class Travel Decision

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Environmental Protection Agency officials apparently gave administrator Scott Pruitt a waiver for first class after the agency chief supposedly experienced dicey interactions with passengers flying coach.

“There have been instances, unfortunately, during my time as administrator, as I’ve flown … of interaction that’s not been the best,” Pruitt said in an interview Tuesday night with a local news station in New Hampshire.

His comments come after a series of exhaustive reports from The Washington Post and CBS News into the former Oklahoma attorney general’s flight travels. Pruitt traveled to Italy in June for meetings at the Vatican and to attend a summit with international energy ministers, CBS reported Tuesday.

The round-trip business-class flight cost at least $7,000, according to the report.

The entire trip — both ways — cost more than $43,000 dollars, according to travel vouchers environmental activist group Environmental Integrity Project obtained.

The agency chief received the blanket waiver to fly first and business class ostensibly over security concerns, CBS’s report also noted. The decision was out of his hands, Pruitt explained shortly after the report, but that the move was done because of situations in coach.

“Ingress and egress off the plane, the security aspect, those are decisions all made by our detail team, by the chief of staff, by the administration,” he added. “I don’t make any of those decisions, they place me on the plane where they think is best from a safety perspective.”

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