Lisa Jackson

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Lisa Perez Jackson (born February 8, 1962) is Obama administration's Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She is the first African American to hold this post. [1]

Ms. Jackson previously served as New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's Chief of Staff. Before this she was the head of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from 2006. [1] Her past experience includes management responsibilities at the Environmental Protection Agency's regional office in New York for the Superfund program, the federal program regulating hazardous waste cleanup projects; for enforcement programs at both EPA and DEP; and for New Jersey’s Land Use Management Program.[2]

Jackson is a professional engineer, having received her Master's Degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and her undergraduate degree from Tulane University in her hometown of New Orleans. [1] During her tenure at NJDEP, she helped develop the Northeastern states Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), serving as Vice President of its Executive Board. She has also focused on water issues, including expanding protections for surface waters that serve as sources of drinking water and habitat for endangered species.[2]

In addition to being the first person of African American descent to serve as EPA Administrator, Jackson is the fourth woman and second New Jerseyan to hold the position.[3]

On December 27, 2012, Jackson announced that she will be stepping down as Administrator of the EPA.[4][5]

Climate Change

On April 17, 2009 the EPA issued a “proposed endangerment finding” and a related proposed “cause or contribute finding” regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (section dealing with “Emission standards for new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines”). The EPA held a 60-day public comment period for these proposed findings, and received over 380,000 public comments. On December 7, 2009, the EPA issued two final findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act: Endangerment Finding – The Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases--carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)--in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Cause or Contribute Finding – The Administrator finds that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens public health and welfare.[6][7][8]

Dec. 2009: EPA finalizes endangerment finding

On December 8, 2009, Lisa Jackson said in a written statement that the EPA finding declaring carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to be a threat to public health, marks the start of a U.S. campaign to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.[9]

December 2010: EPA issues plan to regulate power plants and petroleum refineries

On December 23, 2010, the EPA issued its plan for establishing greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution standards under the Clean Air Act in 2011. The agency looked at a number of sectors and is moving forward on GHG standards for fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries—two of the largest industrial sources, representing nearly 40 percent of the GHG pollution in the United States. Under the plan, EPA will propose standards for power plants in July 2011 and for refineries in December 2011 and will issue final standards in May 2012 and November 2012, respectively. EPA will accept public comment on the plans for 30 days following publication of notice in the Federal Register.[10]

The EPA regulation addresses existing sources, using the statutes of the Clean Air Act's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) to impose limits in 2012 on the amount of CO2 the biggest polluters can emit. The EPA said it would cover 40 percent of U.S. emissions.[11].

The EPA has also been developing a permitting program for new (or substantially upgraded) sources. In May 2010, the EPA issued its "Tailoring Rule," determining which sources will need to get permits (very large sources). In November 2010, it issued "PSD and Title V Permitting Guidance for Greenhouse Gases," which detailed that the permitting program would be run much like existing permitting programs: through the states.[12]

The regulations will be applied to plants that were "grandfathered" (exempted) under the original Clean Air Act.[12]

Feb. 9, 2011: Jackson defends endangerment finding

On February 9, 2011, Jackson made a trip to Capitol Hill to speak before the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Lisa Jackson came under fire from House Republicans who charged that the EPA's proposed emissions rules would mean "higher prices and fewer jobs." Lisa Jackson stated that a bill drafted by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., to prevent the EPA from using the act to curb greenhouse gases, was "part of a broader effort in this Congress to delay, weaken, or eliminate Clean Air Act protections of the American public." It was the first time Jackson had visited Congress since the Republicans took control.[13]

Feb. 18, 2011: House votes to block EPA regulation of GHGs

On Feb. 18, 2011, the Republican-controlled House voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. The 249-177 vote added the regulation ban to a spending bill that would fund the government through Sept. 30, 2011. Texas Republican Ted Poe pressed the anti-EPA measure. His Texas district is home to many oil refineries.[14]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Biography: Administrator Lisa Jackson," EPA website, accessed April 209.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical information.“About Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson”, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, accessed December 12, 2008.
  3. Kocieniewski, David."The New Team Lisa P. Jackson", The New York Times, December 11, 2008, retrieved December 16, 2008.
  4. E.P.A. Chief Set to Leave; Term Fell Shy of Early Hope. (December 27, 2012). Retrieved on December 28, 2012.
  5. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to step down. (December 27, 2012). Retrieved on December 28, 2012.
  6. John M. Broder, "E.P.A. Clears Way for Greenhouse Gas Rules," New York Times, April 17, 2009
  7. "EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Pose Threat to Public Health, Welfare / Proposed Finding Comes in Response to 2007 Supreme Court Ruling," EPA news release, April 17, 2009
  8. "Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act," EPA
  9. "EPA Issues Greenhouse Gas Warning Despite Concerns Over Leaked E-Mails" , "The Star Ledger", December 9, 2009.
  10. "EPA to Set Modest Pace for Greenhouse Gas Standards / Agency stresses flexibility and public input in developing cost-effective and protective GHG standards for largest emitters" EPA, Dec. 23, 2010.
  11. "EPA Sets Timetable on Carbon-Cutting Regs for Coal and Oil" Stacy Feldman, Reuters, December 23, 2010.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Putting EPA’s announcement on CO2 from power plants in context" Grist, Dec. 23, 2010.
  13. "War on coal? EPA warming plan under fire in House", February 9, 2010.
  14. "House Votes To Block EPA From Regulating Greenhouse Gases" AP, Feb. 18, 2011.

External resources

External articles