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Scott Pruitt reportedly wants to mint EPA coins that symbolize himself

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly wants to mint "challenge coins" for his department but has insisted that they be twice as large as his predecessor's coins and that they prominently display symbols relevant to him personally, rather than something more traditional like the EPA's official seal, The New York Times reports.

Challenge coins are military in origin, having once been used as a means of proving one's allegiance if questioned. Now they are used for everything from recognizing emergency workers' services to commemorating a job well done by a department or company's employees. Career EPA employee Ronald Slotkin, who recently retired and spoke with The New York Times, said that isn't exactly what Pruitt is doing. Instead, the administrator wants to remove "anything to do with the EPA" and turn the mementos into "Pruitt coin[s]," Slotkin said.

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(Assorted challenge coins on display in the Oval Office)

Pruitt reportedly asked to get rid of the official EPA seal on the EPA challenge coins, for example, with one agency official saying the administrator believed the flower on the seal looked too much like a marijuana leaf. Pruitt also supposedly pushed for the inclusion of a buffalo, to symbolize himself (he's from Oklahoma), and a Bible verse, also to symbolize himself (or, more specifically, his faith).

"The coin should reference the EPA," stressed Scott H. Amey, the general counsel of the Project on Government Oversight watchdog group, "and not become tribute to Pruitt or Oklahoma." Read more about Pruitt coins at The New York Times.