January 11, 2018
By Avery Anapol –
The Environmental Protection Agency’s internal inspector general is again expanding its investigation into the travel habits of agency head Scott Pruitt.
An internal memo dated Jan. 10 alerts the agency of the amendment to the investigation, which expands the dates of travel covered in the probe to include Pruitt’s travel through the end of 2017. The memo noted that the decision to expand the probe came in response to “additional congressional requests.”
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) requested the investigation include Pruitt’s December trip to Morocco, which reportedly cost $40,000 in taxpayer dollars.
In a Dec. 18 letter to the inspector general, Carper wrote that one purpose of Pruitt’s trip was to promote natural gas exports and that the trip should be scrutinized because the EPA does not oversee natural gas.
The inspector general’s memo notes that the objectives of the investigation remain the same: determining the “frequency, cost and extent” of Pruitt’s travel and whether agency policies and procedures were followed.
This is the second time the inspector general has expanded its probe into Pruitt’s travel habits. The probe was originally limited to his travel via noncommercial flights through July 31, which had cost more than $58,000.