Lisa Jackson Stepping Down: “One of the Most Effective Leaders in EPA History”

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson addresses reporters during Great Lakes Week, October 2011 (Photo: Celia Haven)
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today she’ll be stepping down from her post early in 2013. Under Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency has made some major progress towards protecting America’s wildlife, public health and natural resources:

During her tenure, the administration finalized a new rule doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The requirements will be phased in over 13 years and eventually require all new vehicles to average 54.5 mpg, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year.

She shepherded another rule that forces power plants to control mercury and other toxic pollutants for the first time. Previously, the nation’s coal- and oil-fired power plants had been allowed to run without addressing their full environmental and public health costs.

Jackson also helped persuade the administration to table the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought carbon-heavy tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

Administrator Jackson has been one of the most effective leaders in the history of the Environmental Protection Agency. Her legacy will be cleaner air for all Americans, and she has set the Environmental Protection Agency on a new course to tackle climate change by establishing the first standards to reduce carbon pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes,” Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said today. “We thank her for her exceptional service and wish her well.”

Who might President Barack Obama nominate to follow Jackson as the next EPA administrator? The Houston Chronicle’s Jennifer Dlouhy has a rundown of the top candidates.