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 PerryRick PerryInterior Secretary David Bernhardt is designated survivor for 2020 State of the Union Attorney tells McConnell that Parnas has records 'directly relevant' to impeachment Overnight Energy: Environment takes center stage in House infrastructure plan | Iowans push 2020 candidates on climate | Sanders offers bill on 'forever chemicals' 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.


Perry's predecessor, Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizFormer diplomat Yovanovitch wins award for her work Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show Two years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded 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 PriceDNC chair says app used in Iowa won't be used in other primary states Hillicon Valley: Iowa chaos highlights misinformation threat | Officials blame app for delayed results | Company offers 'regret' | Nevada officials drop plans to use app | Ohio ramps up election security Company behind Iowa Democratic caucus app expresses 'regret' 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: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Architect of controversial EPA policies to return as chief of staff: report EPA asked to justify proposal to limit power of its science advisers MORE has also come under fire for his use of business class and first class fares while traveling.