Quantcast

Pruitt's Sketchy Use of Taxpayer Money Now Includes Expensive Soundproof Booth

Popular
Al Drago / STR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will spend nearly $25,000 to install a soundproof communications booth for Administrator Scott Pruitt inside his office, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

According to a salesman at the company the EPA contracted, the agency's request ran far over the cost for a standard model because of several special "modifications" to further prevent data breaches and eavesdropping.


The Post reported that the agency already has a secure booth installed elsewhere in the building, and no other EPA administrator has taken the step to have a private booth installed. It's not just Pruitt's phone and computer time racking up the bills: CBS News reported Pruitt ran up thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded travel by skipping commercial airline options to take private and military flights twice this summer.

"Critics say Mr. Pruitt has gone to unusual lengths to operate in secrecy at the EPA, where employees report he is often accompanied by armed guards even inside the agency, and avoids making important calls in his office," the New York Times noted.

As reported by the Post:

"Pruitt also has shied away from using email at EPA, often preferring to deliver instructions verbally and hold face-to-face meetings. The shift stems in part from public disclosure by the New York Times in 2014—following an open-records request of emails—of how Pruitt and other attorneys general had worked closely with the oil and gas industry to oppose Obama administration environmental safeguards ...

Pruitt, who has become a polarizing and high-profile figure as he seeks to roll back Obama-era policies and shrink the EPA's footprint, has essentially tripled the personal security detail that served past administrators. The detail now includes about 18 people to cover round-the-clock needs and his frequent travel schedule. Such 24/7 coverage has prompted officials to rotate in special agents from around the country who otherwise would be investigating environmental crimes."

For a deeper dive:

Booth: Washington Post, New York Times, The Hill. Flights: CBS

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

David Gilmour performs at Anfiteatro Scavi di Pomei on July 7, 2016 in Pompei, Italy. Francesco Prandoni / Redferns / Getty Images

David Gilmour, guitarist, singer and songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd, set a record last week when he auctioned off 126 guitars and raised $21.5 million for ClientEarth, a non-profit environmental law group dedicated to fighting the global climate crisis, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during a forum April 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Trump administration ratcheted up its open hostility to climate science in a move that may hide essential information from the nation's farmers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
Protestors and police stand on ether side of railway tracks. dpa / picture-alliance

Police have cleared 250 climate activists who stayed overnight at the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western Germany, officials said Sunday.

Read More Show Less
Cecilie_Arcurs / E+ / Getty Images

By Megan Jones and Jennifer Solomon

The #MeToo movement has caused profound shake-ups at organizations across the U.S. in the last two years. So far, however, it has left many unresolved questions about how workplaces can be more inclusive and equitable for women and other diverse groups.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Cigarette butts are the most-littered item found at beach clean ups. John R. Platt

By Tara Lohan

By now it's no secret that plastic waste in our oceans is a global epidemic. When some of it washes ashore — plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers — we get a stark reminder. And lately one part of this problem has been most glaring to volunteers who comb beaches picking up trash: cigarette butts.

Read More Show Less

Andrea Rodgers, second from the right, takes notes during a hearing in the Juliana v. U.S. case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4. Colleague Elizabeth Brown sits to her left, while colleague Julia Olson sits on her right, with co-council Philip Gregory on Julia's right. Robin Loznak / Our Children's Trust

By Fran Korten

On June 4, Andrea Rodgers was in the front row of attorneys sitting before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court. The court session, held in Portland, Oregon, was to determine whether the climate change lawsuit (Juliana v. United States) brought by 21 young plaintiffs should be dismissed, as requested by the U.S. government, or go on to trial.

Read More Show Less
Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday. SCOOTERCASTER / YouTube screenshot

Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday as they demanded the paper improve its coverage of the climate crisis, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less