Your tax dollars at work
The Energy Department spent an extra $51,000 on upgraded flights for Rick Perry
Energy Secretary Rick Perry, following in the first-class footsteps of fellow Cabinet member EPA head Scott Pruitt, took 12 premium-class flights during his first seven months in office, ABC News reports.
ABC News obtained travel logs showing Perry's trips, although the documents did not include the dates or destinations. The records show that coach fares were available for the 12 flights, but because Perry cited safety concerns, business or first class fares were approved. Those upgrades cost a total of $51,000, not including the base fare.
Federal officials are supposed to use the cheapest travel option, but under "exceptional security circumstances" or trips that take more than 14 hours, business or first class tickets can be approved. On two of Perry's trips, he was joined by his wife, Anita, whose tickets cost $20,000; an agency spokeswoman told ABC News the department has been reimbursed for her travel. The documents also included information on trips former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz took during the last three months of 2016; he too was upgraded due to security concerns, at a cost of more than $42,500.