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Kia Franklin

Obama’s EPA Pick… Bold Promises, Will She Keep Them?

On the NYT Politics Blog, John Broder shares notes from Lisa Jackson's confirmation hearing today. She's slated to take over the EPA, and has a good amount of support behind her. If the agency priorities she listed during the hearing are any indication of what she'll be up to, she seems to be off to a good start in terms of restoring the agency to its original purpose.

From the blog:

“Science must be the backbone of what E.P.A. does,” Ms. Jackson said in her prepared opening statement. “If I am confirmed, I will administer with science as my guide. I understand the laws leave room for policy-makers to make policy judgments. But if I am confirmed, political appointees will not compromise the integrity of E.P.A.’s technical experts to advance particular regulatory outcomes.”

...She said that the administration’s environmental priorities were curbing global warming, reducing air pollution, cleaning up hazardous waste sites, regulating toxic chemicals and protecting water quality.

A commitment to these priorities will be a much-needed shift in course for the agency, which has a past peppered with compromise. For examples, check out this blogpost reviewing the EPA and 9/11, this one on the EPA and emissions standards, this post on EPA and its friendship with agribusiness, and this one on the EPA's arms-crossing about rocket fuel in our water.

But making the pledge and fulfilling it are two different things.

Back in December, the Huffington Post did an informative article on Jackson's record as NJ EPA chief. Mentioning possible close ties to industry and questionable decisions made as NJ chief, the article gives reason not to jump on the bandwagon just yet. Relatedly, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), an environmental watchdog group, released 10 Questions the Senate Should Ask Lisa Jackson, urging committee members to "critically examine actions, decisions and statements that Jackson made at New Jersey DEP which if repeated at EPA would undercut the Obama "change" agenda."

Something to keep an eye out for. I'm listening to the hearing right now, and you can view it live right now, here, by clicking on Live Hearing. Will post an update after.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 12:40 PM, Jan 14, 2009 in EPA
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