Lisa Jackson, President-elect Barack Obama’s selection to head up the Environmental Protection Agency, pledged Wednesday to lead the agency by the virtues of science and law, rather than allowing political agendas to determine the course of environmental policy-making.
“Political appointees will not compromise the integrity of the EPA’s technical experts to advance particular regulatory outcomes,” Jackson said. The statements, made during her Senate confirmation hearing, were a reference to the Bush-run EPA’s frequent disregard of advice from scientific experts on decisions including carbon emissions and global warming.
Jackson said she is also committed to re-reviewing California’s request to set its own pollution standard for automobile tailpipe emissions. The California rules regarding emissions from new cars and light trucks are more aggressive than those set at the federal level. The California waiver was left to languish by current EPA administrator Stephen Johnson. Subsequently, California and 16 other states sued the Federal Government over the matter. (Final rules for new corporate average efficiency laws were also punted to the incoming Obama Administration.)
“Emissions Permissions Agency”
Jackson’s own state of New Jersey, for which she served as the Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection, joined the list of states suing the federal government.
Jackson is known as a consensus-builder and an experienced regulator. She is also an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration’s EPA, once calling it the “Emissions Permissions Agency.”