EPA Chief Lisa Jackson to Resign

Date: December 27, 2012

Source: US EPA

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who pushed through the most sweeping curbs on air pollution in two decades, announced on December 27 that she will step down sometime after the President gives his State of the Union address later in January. "I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family, and new opportunities to make a difference," Jackson said in a statement. Under her tenure, EPA passed a slew of rules that included the first greenhouse-gas standards for vehicles, cuts in mercury and other toxic pollution from power plants, and a tighter limit on soot, the nation's most widespread deadly pollutant. Consequently, she gained praise from environmental groups but severe criticism from regulated industries and Republican leaders who charged that she was waging a "war on coal", Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, called for her termination during his campaign.

Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a power industry group, noted that, under her direction, EPA issued some of the most expensive rules in the agency's history. Those 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 industrial jobs, energy security, and economic recovery," he said. S. William Becker of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies took a different view, however. "Notwithstanding the difficult economic and political challenges EPA faced, her agency was directly responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and improving the health of millions throughout the country," he said.

Obama has not picked her successor, although two of the leading candidates work at the EPA: Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe and Gina McCarthy, who heads the agency's air and radiation office. Jackson has told several people she considers Perciasepe well prepared to take the agency's helm.


Release Date: 12/27/2012

Contact Information: Alisha Johnson (NEWS MEDIA ONLY), johnson.alisha@epa.gov, 202-564-4373, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON -- I want to thank President Obama for the honor he bestowed on me and the confidence he placed in me four years ago this month when he announced my nomination as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. At the time I spoke about the need to address climate change, but also said: "There is much more on the agenda: air pollution, toxic chemicals and children's health issues, redevelopment and waste-site cleanup issues, and justice for the communities who bear disproportionate risk." As the President said earlier this year when he addressed EPA's employees, "You help make sure the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are safe. You help protect the environment not just for our children but their children. And you keep us moving toward energy independence…We have made historic progress on all these fronts." So, I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 27, 2012

Statement by the President on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's Announcement that She Will Leave the Administration Early Next Year

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.

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