We learned last week that Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, frequently flies first class even though federal regulations prohibit government employees from doing so without special permission. Pruitt’s defense is that the decision to fly first class was made by the security people who protect him.
So why does the head of the EPA need special protection, and to fly first class to ensure it?
Because apparently, fellow fliers are being mean to him.
Pruitt, you see, is doing his utmost to revoke as many clean air, clean water, and other environmental regulations as possible so the kind of people he likes – those who run big businesses – can make more money than ever. Pruitt has developed a pretty high profile, people recognize him – The Curmudgeon scored huge points with Mrs. Curmudgeon recently when the couple was watching a television program that was promoting an upcoming story about Broward County police chief Scott Israel and flashed up a photo, to which The Curmudgeon declared “That’s not Scott Israel, that’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt” – and while people have Pruitt all to themselves on an airplane, they’re giving him a piece of their mind.
Apparently in rather strong and colorful language.
Absolute meanies, that’s what they are!
So far, though, there have been no reports of violence or threats of violence; all there’s been is anger, on occasion expressed in rather…colorful ways.
But protecting Pruitt’s apparently tender sensibilities is costing taxpayers beaucoup bucks, as the Washington Post explained.
His many first-class flights include a $1,641.43 trip from Washington to New York last June and a $7,003.52 round-trip ticket to Italy last summer. Pruitt also has taken numerous first-class flights — typically ranging from $2,000 to $2,600 — to events in his home state of Oklahoma, where he often stays the weekend.
As ridiculous as The Curmudgeon thinks it is for Scott Pruitt to seek protection from accountability for his own actions as a public official, that’s not why he’s telling this tale today. No, his interest was spurred by a comment from the head of the EPA’s security team, who, when explaining to the Post why it’s easier to protect his boss in first class than in steerage, said, as the Post reported,
Seating Pruitt in first class offers security advantages for “a multitude of reasons,” including the chance to make a quick exit if a situation arises, Barnet said.
But…wait a minute.
Security guy Barnet is talking about the ability to make a “quick exit if a situation arises”?
From an airplane?
Which leaves one to wonder: what kind of “quick exit” could he have in mind if a situation arises at 30,000 feet?