Scott Pruitt wanted $25,000 for a soundproof phone booth

Pruitt's quest to end the leaks goes to ridiculous lengths

Published September 27, 2017 10:30AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency appointed by President Donald Trump, is going to spend almost $25,000 on a soundproof communications booth for his office.

The booth will be constructed by Acoustical Solutions for $24,570, according to The Washington Post. Although soundproof booths are usually installed for hearing tests, Pruitt has requested one that is considerably more expensive so that he can communicate privately.

"They had a lot of modifications. Their main goal was they wanted essentially a secure phone booth that couldn’t be breached from a data point of view or from someone standing outside eavesdropping," said Steve Snider, an acoustic sales consultant with the company, when talking to the Post.

Pruitt's tenure in charge of the EPA has been controversial in large part due to his sweeping budget cuts, which raises serious questions about the consistency of his buying an unusually expensive soundproof booth.

One senior EPA official left the agency to protest Pruitt's efforts to reduce the agency's power and budget, including requiring the EPA to repeal two regulations for every new one that is implemented, as well as establishing policies that seemed to emphasize the interests of the business community over the agency's avowed environmentalist mission.

Pruitt has also been notorious for his unscientific views on man-made climate change, for floundering when questioned by Congress on his proposed EPA budget cuts and for pushing to get rid of 1,200 EPA employees by September. In that last endeavor, the EPA was able to get almost 400 employees to leave by the end of August, mostly through a policy of buyouts.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt