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Author Topic: Fossil Fuels: Degraded Democracy and Profit Over Planet Pollution  (Read 12986 times)

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February 15, 2018

EPA Admin Scott Pruitt’s  First Class Security Blanket Putting Pruitt in Hot Seat 

There are lots of great reasons to want Scott Pruitt out of the EPA, and his obvious prioritization of industry over public health is right at the top of the list.

But of course, the big Pruitt story this week is his tens of thousands of dollars of first class travel expenses. After the initial Washington Post report Sunday, CBS ran their own segment yesterday and revealed Pruitt took a first-class Arab Emirates flight in May (and got Republican Senator John Kennedy on the record criticising the waste). Politico ran another follow-up story yesterday featuring several other Republican senators questioning the first class flights. In hindsight, Pruitt’s tweets about making pasta and eating prosciutto in Italy don’t exactly convey a seriousness of purpose for his $43,000 trip.

The EPA’s defense is that because of security concerns, Pruitt has a “blanket waiver” to always fly first class to avoid terrible threats like the one from a woman who got drunk while watching Rachel Maddow and fired off an angry tweet. But why the concern for air travel? While we know there’s a curtain keeping us peasants out of first class, we’d have to agree with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who told ABC “If you're on an airplane, you don't have any more problems than anybody else has."

Just what sort of mid-air attack is Pruitt worried about anyway? Someone throwing a tiny tube of toothpaste at him? Is this an attempt by his security detail to protect his feelings by insulating him from the general public with this blanket waiver for first class flight? Like some sort of... security blanket? 

More seriously, where did this supposed blanket waiver come from, and who signed to approve? After Politico’s Emily Holden asked the EPA, the agency said she should file a FOIA to find out. Thing is, Politico already filed one--seven and a half months ago. Despite the one-month statutory deadline, the EPA still hasn’t responded. And apparently federal ethics officials weren’t the ones to grant it, either.

While the first class travel may be enjoyable for Pruitt in the short-term, his first class security blanket (waiver) is worsening a long-term problem for his image as the costs rise. Spending scandals like these only serve to make taxpayers more and more hot under the collar. With even the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner calling for Trump to “drain the swamp” of Pruitt because of his waste, efforts to oust Pruitt are really starting to heat up.

Sure, Pruitt has plenty of practice ignoring such things, but with even conservatives turning against him, it’s going to be hard for Pruitt to pretend he’s not feeling how his security blanket is increasing the heat of this political climate.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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