Rick Perry's travel cost Energy Department $63,560 during first 7 months in office: report

Rick Perry's travel cost Energy Department $63,560 during first 7 months in office: report
© Greg Nash

The Energy Department spent at least $63,560 on first or business class flights for Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerrySenior Trump administration official to leave post next week Overnight Energy: Trump doesn't mention climate change in speech touting environmental policies | Green groups fight EPA's new FOIA rule | Trump emissions rollback hit with legal challenge Trump touts environmental policies, but says nothing of climate change MORE in his first seven months in office, according to an ABC News report

Agency records reported by ABC News show that coach fares were available for the 12 flights taken by the secretary in the 2017 fiscal year, but that premium or first-class seating was approved for security reasons. 

The premium fares added an additional $51,000 to the total cost of the travel, compared to coach ticket prices.

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Perry's predecessor, Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizBiden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher 2020 is the Democrats' to lose — and they very well may MORE, also racked up tens of thousands of dollars on premium fares during his final months in office, according to ABC News. In the last three months of 2016, the agency spent more than $42,500 on premium flights for Moniz, also citing security reasons.

The documents did not include information on Moniz's travel prior to the beginning of the 2017 fiscal year, ABC reported. 

While federal officials are required to go with the cheapest fares when traveling, federal rules allow officials to travel in business class or first class if there are "exceptional security circumstances" or if the trip is longer than 14 hours.

Other Trump administration officials have come under scrutiny for high travel expenses.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PricePress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank 'I alone can fix it,' Trump said, but has he? Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE resigned last year amid scrutiny over his costly travel expenses, including the use of private jets. 

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules when appointing industry leaders to science boards MORE has also come under fire for his use of business class and first class fares while traveling.