America Needs Lisa Jackson

by on January 4th, 2015
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Lisa Jackson is the environmental conscience of the Obama Administration. Throughout her career she has had the backbone to stand up for good science and for strong enforcement of the laws that protect our air and water – regardless of politics. She does not always win, but America can take comfort in knowing that this skillful, tireless champion is working 24/7 to safeguard our neighborhoods and our children.

Lisa Jackson has quietly, firmly withstood mindless pummeling by paleolithic members of Congress who put political hyperbole before science and our economy. Buoyed by her command of the facts, she has withstood the D.C. whirlpool with what Mark Twain once called “the calm confidence of a Christian holding Four Aces.”

Lately, however, as the political race has heated up, Ms. Jackson has often found herself with less than the full-throated support of the White House. Political operatives have been resurrecting that old canard that a healthy environment destroys jobs. They are one step away from describing industrial stench as the smell of progress.

The most recent example was a recent decision by the White House to overrule the EPA on setting tougher smog standards. Ironically, the EPA rule would have actually created jobs! Read what Al Gore has to say about this latest move by the Administration.

Among the chattering classes, Politico for one, there has been recent speculation that that ill-conceived decision was the final tipping point for Lisa Jackson – that she will soldier on for a while, but that she is planning her exit. What is the use of working hard for three years, mobilizing your agency to implement a law, if it can be whimsically overturned by political operatives guessing how it will play with the know-nothing politicians?

We have no inside information. We know nothing about Ms Jackson’s actual state of mind.

BUT WE DO KNOW THAT LISA JACKSON’S DEPARTURE WOULD BE A GENUINE TRAGEDY FOR THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF ALL AMERICANS. No other environmental expert with her stature has the President’s ear. No likely successor will bring her knowledge, passion, leadership, and management talent to the EPA.

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