New travel costs revealed for EPA head amid ongoing scrutiny

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent more than $120,000 in taxpayer funds last summer for a trip to Italy that included a meeting of G-7 ministers and a private tour of the Vatican.

The known cost of Pruitt’s previously reported trip grew this week after the agency disclosed a highly redacted document showing expenses for Pruitt’s security detail cost more than $30,500. That’s on top of nearly $90,000 spent for food, hotels, commercial airfare and a military jet used by Pruitt and his staff.

Pruitt has defended his frequent travel, the full cost of which hasn’t been publicly revealed. That includes sitting in first class, which he described as a security precaution.

Spokesman Jahan Wilcox said the security procedures for Pruitt were the same as for prior EPA chiefs.