A preliminary investigation into Scott Pruitt’s travel as Environmental Protection Agency administrator has begun after “congressional requests and a hotline complaint,” according to the agency’s Inspector General John Trefry.
In an announcement released on Monday evening, Trefry said that Pruitt’s “frequent travel to and from his home state of Oklahoma at taxpayer expense” prompted the inquiry. House Representative Frank Pallone Jr., ranking member of the House’s Committee on Energy and Commerce, wrote the office of the Inspector Generalrequesting a review of Pruitt’s travel in July .
The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), a watchdog group who monitors the agency, filed a Freedom of Information Act request that revealed Pruitt spent 48 out 92 days in March, April, and May, traveling. If you couldn’t have possibly guessed, Pruitt spent 43 of those days in or headed to Oklahoma. Pruitt’s travel cost taxpayers $12,000, according to records obtained by EIP.
Gina McCarthy, Pruitt’s predecessor as EPA administer, also travelled home “roughly every other weekend” during her term. However, as The New York Times noted, McCarthy paid for those trips.
It’s unclear what consequences Pruitt will face, if any, when the investigation concludes. His office told CNN that the probe was “nothing more than a distraction from the administrator’s significant environmental accomplishments.” Hmm.
If only it were possible investigate whether Pruitt’s active disregard and denial of climate science cost taxpayers money while simultaneously endangering their foreseeable future on earth! That would be nice!!!!