By Joe Davidson
7 April 2017
(The Washington Post) – When Mike Cox quit, he did so with gusto.
After 25 years, he retired last week from the Environmental Protection Agency with a tough message for the boss, Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“I, along with many EPA staff, are becoming increasing alarmed about the direction of EPA under your leadership … ” Cox said in a letter to Pruitt. “The policies this Administration is advancing are contrary to what the majority of the American people, who pay our salaries, want EPA to accomplish, which are to ensure the air their children breath is safe; the land they live, play, and hunt on to be free of toxic chemicals; and the water they drink, the lakes they swim in, and the rivers they fish in to be clean.”
Cox was a climate change adviser for EPA’s Region 10, covering Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, he’s been very involved in Bainbridge, Washington, coaching youth sports and serving on local boards and commissions. For two decades, the fit 60-year-old rode his bike eight miles to the ferry, then uphill to his Seattle office.
He can get away with being so blunt because he sent the letter on his last day on the job. Yet his views reflect the disgust and frustration among the agency employees he left behind. Interviews with staffers point to a workforce demoralized by President Trump’s and Pruitt’s statements that conflict with science. They are worried about a new, backward direction for the agency and nervous about proposed, drastic budget cuts. [more]