EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Announces Her Resignation

Despite spending her time fighting Republicans, industry groups and sometimes even the White House, Jackson has had some notable achievements.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Photo Credit: AFP

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

In her four year tenure as head of the EPA Lisa Jackson has received both cheers and jeers, the latter most loudly from Republicans and industry groups. Today, it was announced that she is stepping down. John M. Broder of the New York Times reportsthat she came into office, "with high hopes of sweeping action to address climate change and other environmental ills but ended with a series of rear-guard actions to defend the agency against challenges from industry, Republicans in Congress and, at times, the Obama White House."

Although it has been a disappointing four years for many environmentalists, Jackson did win some hard fought victories. As Broder writes, they include:

... the finding that carbon dioxide and five other gases that contribute to global warming meet the definition of pollutants under the Clean Air Act. That so-called endangerment finding, which has survived federal court challenges from industry, allowed the agency to negotiate strict new emissions standards for cars and light trucks, the first time the federal government has limited global warming pollution.

Sierra Club's executive director Michael Brune issued a statement saying, "In her four years as EPA Administrator, Lisa has been a steadfast advocate for clean air, clean water, a stable climate and public health--often in the face of very vocal and forceful detractors. With her leadership, our country has made a big down payment on its goals to reduce carbon pollution."

Obama offered these words:

Over the last four years, Lisa Jackson has shown an unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children. Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act, and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution. Lisa has been an important part of my team, and I want to thank her for her service in my Administration and her tireless efforts to benefit the American people. I wish her all the best wherever her future takes her.

No replacement has yet been named.

Tara Lohan is a freelance writer and former senior editor at AlterNet. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis, including Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource. Follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.

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