Collins: Pruitt Is the Wrong Person to Head the EPA

10 April, 2018, 20:03 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Scott Pruitt's Wish List: Private Jets, Fancy Furniture, 24-Hour Security

"Pruitt's ambitious domestic and worldwide travel led to rapidly escalating costs, with the security detail racking up so much overtime that many hit annual salary caps of about $160,000", The Associated Press reported Friday.

But in March, a report in the Washington Free Beacon asserted that EPA appointees of President Barack Obama had expenses that matched or surpassed Pruitt's.

Pruitt's 24-hour security has extended to at least some of his personal trips, according to a letter Democratic Sen.

In his tweet Saturday night, Trump appeared dismissive of the travel and rental issues: "Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK".

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is seen at his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 18, 2017.

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But Pruitt's ambitious domestic and global travel led to rapidly escalating costs, with the security detail racking up so much overtime that many hit annual salary caps of about $160,000.

Taxpayers have paid more to safeguard Pruitt than past EPA chiefs but those expenditures are justified due to the fact Pruitt has been under threat, Trump wrote.

In February, it was revealed that the EPA chief spent more than $90,000 on travel costs for himself and aides during the first few weeks of June.

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union", the Maine Republican said the firestorm engulfing Pruitt "further distract" the EPA from "its very important mission".

The EPA official said there are legitimate concerns about Pruitt's safety, given public opposition to his rollbacks of anti-pollution measures.

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Four other actors who starred with him in the movie and were also charged with the offence have been acquitted. But he successfully appealed the conviction verdict when the Bombay High Court cleared him of all charges.

The AP found no record of arrests or charges against anyone for threatening Pruitt.

The size of Pruitt's security is unprecedented. The a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/11/trump-public-lands-waters-united-states-environment/" target="_blank" rule /a , which is now tied up in the courts, extends EPA protection to tens of millions of acres of wetlands and millions of miles of streams, including those that a href="https://www.nrdc.org/issues/enforce-clean-water-act" target="_blank" 1 in 3 Americans rely on for drinking water /a .br br Pruitt also sued the EPA over its a href="https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/2015-revision-2008-ozone-national-ambient-air-quality-standards-naaqs-supporting" target="_blank" 2015 regulation /a strengthening the national health standards a href="http://newsok.com/oklahoma-joins-five-states-in-suit-against-new-epa-ozone-limits/article/5456440?custom_click=rss" target="_blank" for ground-level ozone /a or smog pollution.br br Several of these lawsuits are still ongoing, and environmental advocates have called on Pruitt to recuse himself from decisions related to the regulations he's challenged in court.

That increase in spending came as the Trump administration shared plans for cutting the EPA's budget by about 30%, including major cuts to the agency's enforcement work and staffing and the elimination of some programs.

Lawmakers have been scrutinizing Pruitt for renting a room in a high-end townhouse co-owned by the wife of energy industry lobbyist Steven Hart for $50 a night, an arrangement that has drawn fire from ethics experts.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly also told President Donald Trump last week that he was "convinced" that Pruitt needs to step down, a White House official told the Wall Street Journal.

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If the administration determines that more troops are needed, "we'll make that decision at that time". However, if a National Guard mission were ordered under Title 32, the protocol would be different.

And it comes as he faces increasing scrutiny over his spending and management, as well as over his unusual rental arrangement past year with a longtime lobbyist.

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