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EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced recently that she is stepping down, the Associated Press reports.
Jackson, 50, served in the EPA’s top role for four years where she faced what EPA chiefs have said is the strongest opposition they had ever seen. Jackson did not give a reason for her departure and President Barack Obama called her “an important part of my team.”
Jackson was the EPA’s first black administrator and a chemical engineer. Obama commended Jackson for “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.”
Of course, many of Jackson’s detractors are happy to see her go. Though industry executives recognize that Jackson’s work will improve the state of drinking water and the air we breathe, they feel many of the changes came at too great an economic cost.
“Agency rules have been used as blunt attempts to marginalize coal and other solid fossil fuels and to make motor fuels more costly at the expense of industrial jobs, energy security, and economic recovery,” said Electric Reliability Coordinating Council director Scott Segal. “The record of the agency over the same period in overestimating benefits to major rules has not assisted the public in determining whether these rules have been worth it.”
And even her supporters note that she leaves a large, unfinished agenda for her successor, who has yet to be named.