Energy

Environmental Activists Demand Pruitt Repay Expenses From First-Class Tickets

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Activists are demanding Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt return the taxpayer cash used to buy first-class tickets for the administrator and his security detail.

A request from environmental organization the Sierra Club comes a day after a report shows Pruitt began flying in business class flights after interaction with passengers in coach became too dangerous. One passenger reportedly told the administrator that he is “fucking up the environment.”

Pruitt’s explanation wasn’t good enough for activists. “Scott Pruitt’s inability to handle criticism is not a reason why he should blow more than $100,000 in our tax dollars on his luxury flights around the world. Anyone in the real world has heard far worse in morning traffic or the bleachers of a baseball game,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said Friday in a statement.

Brune suggested Pruitt should follow former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price‘s lead and pay back the money he used for flights across the country. Price, who used $400,000 on private flights during his time in President Donald Trump’s administration, eventually paid nearly $52,000 to the government to reimburse part of his private jet travel before he left his position.

Government policy allows officials access for first class travel on 14-hour international flights.

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Threats against officials at the agency and Pruitt have spiked 50 percent during 2017, according to an NBC report in 2017. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General launched more than 70 investigations into threats against Pruitt and others at the agency, the Oct. 6 report noted. None of the threats resulted in injuries, but they were deemed legitimate risks to officials.

The agency calculated that placing Pruitt in first-class would help isolate Pruitt from security threats. The Washington Post theorized that the agency chief wanted to sit in the front section of the plane because it might be safer in the event of crash.

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