Newly minted EPA boss Scott Pruitt objects to rather a lot of policies enacted by the agency he now heads. What he doesn’t seem to object to is spending money:
On July 27, records show, Pruitt and six staff members arranged a flight on a Department of Interior plane from Tulsa to the tiny outpost of Guymon, Okla., at a cost of $14,434.50. The EPA noted that “time constraints” on Pruitt’s schedule wouldn’t allow him to make the 10-hour round-trip drive. The purpose of the trip was to meet with landowners “whose farms have been affected” by a controversial rule regulating water bodies in the United States, according to the agency. Pruitt has initiated a process to withdraw the regulation, known as the Waters of the United States rule.
The Environmental Protection Agency is spending nearly $25,000 to construct a secure, soundproof communications booth in the office of Administrator Scott Pruitt, according to government contracting records.
The agency signed a $24,570 contract [pdf] earlier this summer with Acoustical Solutions, a Richmond-based company, for a “privacy booth for the administrator.” The company sells and installs an array of sound-dampening and privacy products, from ceiling baffles to full-scale enclosures like the one purchased by the EPA. The project’s scheduled completion date is Oct. 9, according to the contract.
Typically, such soundproof booths are used to conduct hearing tests. But the EPA sought a customized version — one that eventually would cost several times more than a typical model — that Pruitt can use to communicate privately.
Which is still cheaper than flying out to Guymon twice.