Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's new soundproof phone booth — a concrete-walled enclosure which Pruitt intends to use for making secure calls — is going to cost close to $43,000, according to The Washington Post.
The EPA has already spent over $18,000 on the prep work — carving out space for the booth in a nearby closet area, pouring 55 square feet of two-foot-thick concrete, installing a drop ceiling, and patching and painting the space. The soundproof booth itself will cost another $25,000.
It's like a really expensive, very thick TARDIS from "Dr. Who."
Pruitt has ordered the costly phone booth despite the fact that the agency already had one on a separate floor. Also conspicuous is the fact that no other EPA head has ever needed one built before.
Pruitt has come under fire for seemingly excessive spending before. In February it was reported that Pruitt dropped $90,000 on travel for just part of the month of June. His excuse was that he had to fly first class because coach passengers bully him.
Pruitt, a man who could properly be called a climate-change denier, also keeps an 18-person, 24/7 security detail.
It's unclear why precisely this pattern of excess seems to be coming up in Pruitt's short tenure. But this is clearly a man for whom being a rational human being is not a priority.
He has remained irrationally skeptical of human-caused climate change through carbon dioxide emissions, despite overwhelming scientific agreement on the matter. He has also been widely criticized by the scientific and environmental community as a poor choice for head of the EPA. Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, has said, “Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires."
One wonders if a man who clearly places faith in such illogical beliefs about the world is also fit to make sound spending decisions. The $43,000 phone booth feels dubious at best.
Banner image credit: Flickr user Isaac Wedin