By Colleen Cochran
When I read Scott Pruitt’s obsequious resignation letter, I felt like I was living an upside-down, maniacal, nightmarish reality. It was horrifying to know this longtime adversary of the EPA was leading this same agency. My mind was staggered anew when I read in his resignation letter that he felt his service to Trump was divined by God.
His service was at absolute odds with everything we know about climate change and the effects it will have on my child and on future generations. His role was to pay attention to facts, and to heed the warnings of climate scientists, so as to protect U.S. citizens. Instead, he dismantled environmental regulations with fervor.
Rather than jump into a six-pack, which was my first inclination upon reading his letter, I fantasized an alternative reality where Pruitt admitted the follies of his actions. If he could devise a freakish alternative reality where climate change doesn’t exist and God backs this assertion, certainly I am entitled to imagine that the former head of the EPA admits he should have protected the environment.
Strangely, rewriting Pruitt’s resignation letter made me feel much better.
It has been an honor to serve the American people in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA. Truly, I betrayed their confidence when I advanced your anti-environment agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your administration. Your steadfastness and resolute commitment to hastening global warning for the American people, with regard to promoting continued reliance on fossil fuels and rolling back emissions standards is unprecedented. I will go down in history as someone who served you, at the expense of the American people, in helping to achieve these ends.
That is why I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6. It is extremely easy for me to cease serving you in this role, first, because most Americans count my departure as a blessing, but also, because I can no longer be part of the environmental devastation that is occurring. The unrelenting attacks on me were well-deserved.
I should have focused on protecting the environment and advised you to make beneficial decisions for the American people. God’s providence is calling for care over the creatures of the earth. I believe such providence was brought to bear when the people repeatedly called for me to discontinue your service. I pray that someone will step in to effectively lead the American people. Thank you again, Mr. President, for the honor of serving you. Godspeed to all those who combat the dirty fossil fuel industry profits that you put your hand into. Godspeed to all those who recognize a clean-energy future and economic profitability can go hand in hand.
Your Formerly Science-Denying Friend,
Here is the text of the original letter:
It has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA. Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration. Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform, is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.
That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6. It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring. However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.
My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence. I believe that same providence brought me into your service. I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people. Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.
Your Faithful Friend,
Colleen Cochran is a legal editor and a San Diego-based coordinator for Food & Water Watch, an energy and environment advocacy group based in D.C.