EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Reportedly Wants Agency's Challenge Coin, Branded Office Items to Feature Less EPA, More Scott Pruitt
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wants to redesign the agency's "challenge coin," a commemorative medallion that draws inspiration from military challenge coins. Currently, the EPA's challenge coin includes the agency's logo, but Pruitt apparently wants to ditch that altogether in favor of some more personal imagery.
The New York Times reported that Pruitt, who initially wanted to stop using the coin completely, wants the new coin to include a buffalo to represent Pruitt's Oklahoma heritage and a Bible verse to reflect his religion.
He's also kicked around the idea of using the Great Seal of the United States and putting his own name around the rim in letters, EPA sources told The New York Times.
Some EPA staff members are reportedly unhappy with Pruitt's ideas, claiming that it would cost the agency too much, and dropping the agency's seal would "be a breach of protocol."
"These coins represent the agency," Ronald Slotkin, former director of the EPA's multimedia office, 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."
He added that it wouldn't be an EPA coin anymore, but a "Pruitt coin."
It's not the only branded product that Pruitt wants to rid of the EPA imagery. He reportedly also requested items like leather-bound notebooks, fountain pens and stationary, but with the EPA seal (which he reportedly feels is too close to a marijuana leaf) removed and his name added instead. In the end, the items the agency ordered maintained a small version of the seal.
The coins cost around $3 to $6 a piece to make, depending on the size and design. Slotkin, along with other EPA sources, told the New York Times that Pruitt's idea for his coin would be twice as large as the current one.
When asked about the coin design, however, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the New York Times that "Administrator Pruitt does not have a challenge coin."
That's true. And, if his coins ever do see the light of day, it will be interesting to see whether he follows through on the ideas EPA staffers discussed, or if the negative attention from those close to the matter are enough to make him tweak his design a little bit.