WASHINGTON D.C. - Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson has announced that she will be leaving the EPA in January. Her tenure has been marked by battles with industry and Republican senators, who claimed that the EPA's tighter regulations on emissions were "job killers."
"Under this Administration, the EPA has had an anti-energy and therefore anti-Wyoming agenda," said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., in a prepared statement about Jackson's resignation. "The regulations and red tape that have flowed from this one agency have helped slow our economic recovery and have ignored the concerns of farmers, ranchers, and our energy industry."
The EPA was also at the center of what seems to be a botched investigation into any link between water pollution and fracking in Pavillion, where EPA test results could not be verified by the U.S. Geological Survey. The decision on whether fracking is sufficiently regulated will be left to her successor.
In his statement, Enzi posited that the successor may not be an improvement. "I'm not convinced that a new agency head will make much of a difference in the policies we will see over the next four years," he said. "There is always a possibility that someone with a more aggressive environmental agenda will lead the EPA in its war on coal and traditional forms of energy."
Jackson, 50, a chemical engineer, gave no reason for her departure other than to say that she's ready for "new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference."
In a statement released yesterday, President Obama noted Jackson's "unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children." David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, called Jackson "an outspoken fighter for environmental protection."
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