EPA head Scott Pruitt's first-class travel is costing a fortune

President Donald Trump pauses during a meeting with state and local officials about infrastructure in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington Monday Feb. 12 2018

EPA head Scott Pruitt's first-class travel is costing a fortune

Pruitt's itinerary started with a $1,641 first-class flight from Washington to NY on June 5 to tout President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement in a pair of brief television interviews, the Post reported on Sunday evening.

The EPA claims the first-class seats are necessary for security purposes.

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For instance, taxpayers paid at least $90,000 for Pruitt and a group of aides to travel during a brief stretch last June, on trips that included first-class flights for television interviews in NY and a visit with officials in Rome, where he toured the Vatican.

Read the rest of The Washington Post's story here. That figure does not account for the costs of Pruitt's round-the-clock security detail, which have not been disclosed. Frequently, he stayed in Tulsa for the weekend, according to travel records released under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Federal regulations require government employees to "exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business. and therefore, should consider the least expensive class of travel that meets their needs". At the request of Democrats, the EPA's inspector general is investigating the cost of Pruitt's travel - including several first-class trips to his home state of Oklahoma - and his security detail.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman defended Pruitt's travel spending."He's trying to further positive environmental outcomes and achieve tangible environmental results" Bowman told the Post, adding that Pruitt is "hearing directly from people affected by the EPA's regulatory overreach".

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While in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Pruitt also met with Gov. Chris Sununu and toured the Central Paper company in Manchester.

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