Scott Pruitt hasn't saved taxpayers anything

Scott Pruitt hasn't saved taxpayers anything

Scott Pruitt hasn't saved taxpayers anything

Scott Pruitt's security detail has required far more resources than that of his predecessors, costing taxpayers almost $3 million when factoring in overtime and frequent travel for the agents who protect the Environmental Protection Agency administrator 24/7, according to an EPA official.

Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt is facing opposition from the federal government's Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

In a letter addressed to EPA deputy counsel Kevin Minoli, David Apol listed several of the most serious reports concerning Pruitt's potential ethical violations.

Barrasso acknowledged that "certain questions have been raised about internal operations" at EPA and Pruitt's actions, but said he will wait for a White House review before reaching judgment.

Courts have determined that Pruitt's EPA has ignored clear legal statutes by delaying a regulation on methane emissions from new gas and oil wells, an action that was ruled illegal.

Pruitt, who has eschewed contact with mainstream media in favor of sympathetic conservative outlets, took to Fox News on Wednesday to defend himself. Apol encouraged the agency to take the appropriate actions to address the scandals, though he stopped short of explicitly calling for Pruitt's removal. Susan Collins told CNN's "State of the Union" that she voted against Pruitt being appointed to the EPA post and that his recent actions in the "environmental arena", including the weakening of restrictions on lead, were "reasons enough to validate my decision to oppose his confirmation".

Pruitt was at the White House on Monday for a cabinet meeting and was seated at the far end of the table from Trump.

Those schedules show multiple EPA security agents accompanied Pruitt on a family vacation to California that featured a day at Disneyland and a New Year's Day football game where his home state Oklahoma Sooners were playing in the Rose Bowl.

But Pruitt's ambitious domestic and global travel led to rapidly escalating costs, with the security detail racking up so much overtime that many hit annual salary caps of about $160,000.

The OGE is already auditing Pruitt's expensive traveling, and officials there told BuzzFeed News they are still reviewing multiple requests from Congress and others to look into Pruitt's housing situation and additional ethics concerns. Consideration of security spending needs to be viewed in that light.

Pruitt also has defended his use of first-class airfare, saying it was initiated following unpleasant interactions with other travelers, including one who yelled a profanity as he walked through the airport.

The EPA's inner watchdog started wanting into Pruitt's frequent journey again to Oklahoma in August of final yr. The EPA official said there are legitimate concerns about Pruitt's safety, given public opposition to his rollbacks of anti-pollution measures.

Three Republican senators criticized Pruitt on Sunday amid expanded ethics investigations of his spending and possible perks he's received.

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