Ag Secretary comments on EPA administrator’s resignation

Posted on December 28, 2012

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Lisa JacksonEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson stepped down from President Obama’s cabinet, prompting this statement yesterday from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack:

Lisa Jackson has served our country well as she balanced improving the environment and the health of the American people – while ensuring our country’s economic competitiveness – because they are intrinsically linked. Throughout her tenure, she listened to stakeholders, including farmers and ranchers, and took their concerns into account while considering policies that impacted rural America. She was a friend to me and to those who live and work in rural America and her leadership will be missed.

Ms. Jackson, a chemical engineer, did not give a specific reason for her choice to resign. Her four years as top figure in the President’s environmental team were marked by friction with the GOP and a forward-pushing agenda demanding more pollution control and arguing on climate change, regulations for coal-fired power plants, mercury pollution standards, car efficiency standards, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and other hot button issues.

Members of the Republican party complained that Ms. Jackson’s policies were job-killers that detrimentally affected businesses already struggling in a down economy. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said during his campaign that he would fire her if elected.

She is expected to leave the President’s cabinet shortly after his State of the Union address in late January. Her choice to step down is part of the normal turnover expected when a President is re-elected: that process has already included Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, among others, and more will likely follow ( perhaps Energy Secretary Steven Chu).

At present Ms. Jackson’s plans are not known, but speculation is already circulating that she may run for New Jersey governor.

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