The New York Times reports that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt sought to redesign the agency's challenge coin, which is a traditional souvenir that denotes affiliation with the agency, by removing the agency's logo and putting his own mark on it.
Not many people including myself are going to care about that, but that's not all.
Pruitt also reportedly wanted to remake the whole agency in his image.
Another person who was involved in the debate said that Mr. Pruitt had expressed disapproval of the agency’s seal, a round flower with four leaves. He felt it looked like a marijuana leaf.
Mr. Pruitt also requested that the agency order other items — including leather-bound notebooks, fountain pens and stationery — from which he wanted to omit the E.P.A. seal and upon which he wanted to feature his name prominently, according to Mr. Slotkin and the person who participated in the discussions about the seal. Ultimately, the items retained a small version of the seal, according to several people familiar with the orders.
Don't get me wrong; the Environmental Protection Agency is one of the most important federal agencies we have, but Pruitt appears to believe he has been appointed as the king of a wealthy city-state. It's as if he believes the EPA is a palace that he rules over. He hires a small army of private security guards, takes luxurious trips, and seeks to put his name on everything like its a new dollar bill.
Pruitt is not the sultan.
Meanwhile, emails obtained by Greenpeace show that career EPA officials were concerned that Pruitt was lying his ass off when he announced that he would roll back the Obama administration's fuel efficiency standards.
The emails obtained by Greenpeace’s Unearthed investigations team shed additional light on Pruitt’s reliance on information provided by a small group of advisers, conservative groups, and industry while sidelining staff expertise at the EPA. The emails, also reported by Politico Pro, show career staff who were eager to correct inaccurate talking points surrounding his rollback of the EPA’s fuel economy standards. Since the emails were circulated among career staff, it is not clear if Pruitt and his team of political appointees were made directly aware of these concerns.
States challenging Pruitt's decision in court might be interested in this information.