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 PerryPerry confident energy market 'will rebound positively' after Saudi oil attack The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Trump authorizes use of emergency oil reserve after Saudi attacks 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 MonizTwo years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded Biden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher 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 PriceTom Price: The fiscal crisis at hand The Hill's Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump's travel plans The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks 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: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Trump administration to repeal waterway protections The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks MORE has also come under fire for his use of business class and first class fares while traveling.