September 29, 2017
By Justin Wingerter –
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent $14,434 in taxpayer funds to fly from Tulsa to the Panhandle and Oklahoma City one day in July, sparking the latest controversy concerning the former Oklahoma attorney general’s travel.
Pruitt’s frequent trips this summer to Oklahoma have spurred speculation he will run for office here and are currently being investigated by the EPA’s inspector general. EPA documents provided to a congressional oversight committee were recently obtained by several news outlets, including The Oklahoman.
Those documents show Pruitt’s deputy chief of staff requested permission from an EPA attorney to use charter aircraft on July 27. The request was approved a day before the trip, allowing Pruitt to use a Department of Interior plane to fly from Tulsa to Guymon and from Guymon to Oklahoma City.
Travelling with Pruitt were seven EPA staff members and one member of the media. An EPA official said Thursday that the government plane was chosen due to Pruitt’s tight schedule. The EPA attorney who approved its use, Elise Packard, wrote “there are no commercial aircraft that offer flights to Guymon.”