Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson says she’ll step down early next year, after President Obama’s State of the Union address.
As the New York Times reports, Jackson leaves at a time where the Obama Administration’s environmental policy is at a crossroads:
After his re-election, and a campaign in which global warming was barely mentioned by either candidate, Mr. Obama said that his first priority would be jobs and the economy and that he intended only to foster a “conversation” on climate change in the coming months.
That ambivalence is a far cry from the hopes that accompanied his early months in office, when he identified climate change as one of humanity’s defining challenges. Mr. Obama put the White House’s full lobbying power behind a House cap-and-trade bill that would have limited climate-altering emissions and brought profound changes in how the nation produces and consumes energy.
Jackson’s EPA occasionally clashed with Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection on natural gas policy and other issues, as StateImpact Pennsylvania reported in May:
Sitting in his Harrisburg office, Krancer said the EPA doesn’t always trust the state’s judgment. “It’s amazing to me sometimes how stupid the EPA has discovered we became as of January 19, 2011,” he said, pointing to the date the Republican Corbett Administration took control. “And I continue to say that. It is somewhat frustrating because I do have 2,600 of the best experts on the planet…and I think sometimes my federal partners don’t recognize that.”
Tension between the EPA and a state isn’t exactly new. During an interview with StateImpact Pennsylvania, Krancer made that point by reading from a 1997 speech given by then-Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission Chair Barry McBee. “We feel like we’re being treated like children,” Krancer said, quoting the speech, “and I believe the EPA sees us in light of paternalistic parent-child relationship.”