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Obama’s EPA “unleashed” on production agriculture

March 16, 2010

A January 2010 Rolling Stone magazine profile of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson provides insight into the person who is leading the agency and into how the agency is operating today compared to the previous administration.  

The fawning profile was timed to be a one-year retrospective of the EPA under Jackson.

To shift the agency’s culture, Jackson has moved swiftly to restore top career staffers who were shunted aside during the Bush years. “We call them ‘cryogenically frozen,'” says a top aide to Jackson. “We’ve reactivated a lot of people who were known to disagree with the Bush administration’s politics and were hung up in closets.” Veteran staffers who have gotten their old jobs back say privately that they spent eight years under Bush “trying to do something good under the radar” — even as they were forced to design programs that “we all knew the courts were going to throw out.”

Under Jackson, the agency is once again basing decisions on science rather than politics. “The science is not something the Obama administration feels they have to guard themselves against,” says one clean-air staffer who was sidelined under Bush. “Because they are not trying to protect their industry buddies from environmental regulations.”

“They have freed up agency employees to do what they’re supposed to do: protect public health and the environment,” says Jeremy Symons, the EPA’s former climate-policy adviser. “And God knows there’s a lot of pent-up work behind the dam that needs to be unleashed.”

Administrator Jackson’s blog can be found here.   Watch her appearance last week before the National Press Club  where she discussed clean energy innovation, climate science and public policy, ethanol, and the 6th circuit court decision that turned pesticide spray nozzles into point sources of pollution.

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