Energy Dept: Perry flew charter plane on White House-requested trip


Energy Dept: Perry flew charter plane on White House-requested trip
  1. Energy Dept: Perry flew charter plane on White House-requested trip
    thehill.com
    Energy Secretary Rick Perry flew a charter plane last week to tour a coal mine after the White House requested he take the trip, the Department of Energy (DOE) said late Friday.The Sept. 28 trip to the Jeddo Coal Co. near Hazleton, Pa., was the…
    Environment

Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryPerry seeking to prop up nuclear, coal plants Overnight Energy: Interior watchdog probes Zinke's charter jet use Energy Department backs .7B in loans for Georgia nuclear plant MORE flew a charter plane last week to tour a coal mine after the White House requested he take the trip, the Department of Energy (DOE) said late Friday.

The Sept. 28 trip to the Jeddo Coal Co. near Hazleton, Pa., was the only time Perry has used a charter flight since becoming Energy secretary in March, DOE documents show.

The paperwork showing approval for the trip by DOE attorneys says that he visited the coal mine “at the request of the White House,” but does not give further details about the request.

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Perry then used the same aircraft to fly to Ohio and visit the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a DOE facility that’s being decommissioned.

The plane cost taxpayers $11,000 for the entire trip, including a leg from Washington’s Dulles International Airport to Hazleton, DOE said.

Perry visited the Pennsylvania mine, which produces anthracite coal and rare earth minerals, along with Rep. Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaTop Trump ally announces Senate run in Pennsylvania Barletta to announce Senate bid Tuesday: report Pennsylania Dems file ethics complaint against Rep. Barletta MORE (R-Pa.). The Energy chief used the visit to promote the Trump administration’s pro-coal agenda.

“It’s time for coal in this country to be revived,” Perry declared in a speech at the event.

Barletta is running for the Senate in next year’s race, hoping to unseat Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDem senator: Inaction on gun control sending 'unintentional endorsement' Congress has a chance to make saving for college a lot easier Sen. Manchin won’t vote for Trump’s mine safety nominee MORE (D-Pa.).

Reuters reported on the charter flight Thursday, noting that it came the day before Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceZinke under federal investigation for speech to NHL team: report Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Senate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns MORE resigned due to his use of charter flights worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The DOE did not confirm any details at the time.

Eric Fygi, the DOE’s deputy general counsel, wrote in a memo approving the flights two days earlier that other options, including scheduled commercial flights, “will not meet the secretary’s schedule requirements.”

Perry had previously planned on using a Defense Department C-37, a corporate-style jet with a larger capacity, but switched to a Cessna Citation II, which seats 10.

DOE shared the details about that flight and three flights Perry took on government-owned planes with the House Oversight Committee on Friday to fulfill a request the panel sent last month to all Cabinet agencies.

The flights cost $56,246, with documents offering explan…

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