EPA Chief Lisa Jackson To Step Down

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 27 2012 10:49 AM

EPA Chief Lisa Jackson To Step Down

Environmetal Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson looks at a display as she tours the Method home care company on September 15, 2011 in San Francisco

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson will step down from her post early next year, the agency announced this morning. The New York Times:

Ms. Jackson, 50, told President Obama shortly after his re-election in November that she wanted to leave the administration early next year. She informed the E.P.A. staff of her decision on Thursday morning and issued a brief statement saying that she was confident "the ship is sailing in the right direction."

The move is expected to come shortly after the State of the Union. There's been no word yet on who the president has in mind to replace Jackson atop the EPA in the long term, but deputy administrator Robert Perciasepe is seen as most likely to take over in a temporary capacity. Along with Perciasepe, EPA air pollution official Gina McCarthy and former Clinton White House aide Ian Bowles have also been floated as possibilities to run the environmental agency during Obama's second term.

The EPA chief is not a formal Cabinet-level position, but is normally afforded Cabinet-level rank.

Jackson's tenure as the nation's top environmental official began with high hopes of a sweeping federal cap-and-trade program, but that effort ultimately ground to a halt in the Senate, where Democratic leaders didn't have the numbers to accomplish what Nancy Pelosi was able to in the House. Still, Jackson's EPA didn't sit on the sidelines, instead using its executive branch powers to enact sweeping air pollution regulations that included the first-ever greenhouse gas standards for vehicles, restrictions on toxic pollution from power plants and a more stringent limit on soot, along with a slew of others.

Her departure is sure to prompt plenty of hand-wringing in the environmental community, which is already fretting aloud that the need to address global warming will again take a backseat to other administration priorities.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.