During his first few months as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt proposed removing the EPA’s logo of a flower from the agency’s souvenir coin, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing former EPA official Ron Slotkin and two unnamed EPA officials.
Pruitt offered a few different replacements for the logo. He suggested using the image of a buffalo, a symbol of his state Oklahoma, and at one point pitched using a Bible verse on the coin, according to the New York Times. He also suggested using the Great Seal of the United States on the “challenge coin,” a keepsake typically given as gifts to agency employees or guests, per the Times.
“These coins represent the agency,” Slotkin told the New York Times. “But Pruitt wanted his coin to be bigger than everyone else’s and he wanted it in a way that represented him.”
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the New York Times that the agency never ordered new challenge coins.
The coin currently features the agency’s logo, a flower with four leaves, a design Pruitt complained looked like a marijuana leaf, according to the Times. Staff worried that removing the logo would break protocol and that changes would cost too much, the Time reported.
Pruitt has come under fire recently for his spending habits. He is protected by a large security detail, took several first class flights, and also faces scrutiny for the condo room he rented from a lobbyist.
Read the entire New York Times report here.