Georgetown State-Federal Climate Resource Center Kickoff 3

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 23 Feb 2009 22:00:00 GMT

The kickoff of the Georgetown State-Federal Climate Resource Center at Georgetown Law will take place on Monday, February 23, 2009, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. on the 12th Floor of the Gewirz Student Center, located on the Georgetown Law campus at 120 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-Wash.) and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.) will deliver remarks at 5:30 p.m. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will speak at 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Barrasso Places Hold on EPA Nominee Jackson Because of Browner 24

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 22 Jan 2009 13:13:00 GMT

Wishing to meet with President Obama’s White House energy and environment adviser Carol Browner, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) has delayed the nomination of Lisa Jackson to be Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator. He placed an anonymous objection to the unanimous consent resolution to move the nomination without a roll call vote on Tuesday, and raised his concerns with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.), chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on Wednesday.

Barrasso spokesman Gregory Keeley tells E&E News:
The bottom line is Senator Barrasso is concerned about this new structure with an appointed energy czar in the White House with no accountability in the White House. Just about how that will operate. He wants to know that. He wants to ensure sufficient transparency and oversight. He wants to be convinced Congress will have the ability to get answers from the appointed czar, Carol Browner. At this stage, he’s not convinced that’s the case.

Yesterday, Browner participated in President Obama’s economic briefing, with National Economic Director Lawrence Summers, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag and White House Policy Council Director Melody Barnes.

Granta Nakayama, a Bush administration appointee, is the interim EPA administrator. According to E&E News, Nakayama “has been a noncontroversial figure since joining EPA as its top enforcement official in July 2005.”

UPDATE: E&E News reports that Granta Nakayama has resigned, with Mike Shapiro replacing him as interim EPA administrator.

Shapiro, 60, has previously been a senior official in the Office of Water, director of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste, and deputy assistant administrator in EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, where he helped implement the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. He also has held positions in EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances.

Corzine: Lisa Jackson 'Has Done a Remarkable Job' in a 'Constrained World' 2

Posted by Wonk Room Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:34:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Lisa Jackson, President-elect Barack Obama’s co-chair of his energy and natural resources transition team, has emerged as the top candidate to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Jackson, a 46-year-old African American engineer, left her job as administrator of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to become Gov. Jon Corzine’s chief of staff on December 1. Jackson has a mixed record at the New Jersey DEP, earning praise for her work ethic but criticism for difficulties achieving the department’s mission.

In an exclusive interview with the ThinkProgress Wonk Room, Gov. Corzine says Jackson has been “remarkably successful” despite a limited budget and competing state priorities:

Lisa Jackson is, without question in my mind, someone who has overwhelmingly been successful as an environmentalist, but also she has also been a person who understands that we have to move in a disciplined thoughtful manner. We can’t do everything at once. . . I think Lisa has done a remarkable job of trying to move the environmental agenda forward within a constrained world.
Watch it:

Corzine’s view is shared by local environmentalists like the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions’ Sandy Batty, and Environment New Jersey’s Dena Mottola Jaborska, who told Environment and Energy News that Jackson is “a skilled administrator who’s willing to listen” and the “best DEP commissioner that New Jersey had for a long time.” Jackson’s agency “has suffered from a slate of budget cuts by Democratic and Republican governors alike, and thousands of staff positions have been lost over the years.” Struggling to reduce a multi-billion-dollar state debt, Corzine himself has slashed the DEP budget even as the department’s responsibilities have expanded to handle global warming.

The list of problems at the underfunded agency is long. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has been the most critical of Jackson’s potential appointment, claiming “Jackson embraced policies at DEP echoing the very practices at the Bush EPA which Senator Barack Obama condemned during the presidential campaign,” including “suppression of scientific information, issuance of gag orders,” and “closed-door deal-making with regulated industry executives and lobbyists.” PEER’s Jeff Ruch describes Jackson as “a pliant technocrat who will follow orders”:
While Ms. Jackson has a compelling biography, little of what occurred during her 31-month tenure commends her for promotion. Under her watch, New Jersey’s environment only got dirtier, incredible as that may seem.

PEER, which exposed many of the EPA’s worst practices under Stephen Johnson, notes that “Jackson appointed the lobbyist for the New Jersey Builders Association as her Assistant Commissioner to oversee critical water quality and land use permits,” and “failed to warn parents or workers for months about mercury contamination” at a day-care center in a former thermometer factory.

Transcript:

CORZINE: Lisa Jackson is, without question in my mind, someone who has overwhelmingly been successful as an environmentalist, but also she has also been a person who understands that we have to move in a disciplined thoughtful manner. We can’t do everything at once.

We have the most Superfund sites in America in New Jersey. And we are cleaning them up within the financial capacity of what we have the resources to do. And we need help from the federal government on that.

Having Lisa here, who is absolutely committed to the kind of cleanup that some of her critics would say she should have done more of . . . Those individuals I think some times are not putting it in the context of health care, or education, or other difficult but important responsibilities that government has to take on. I think Lisa has done a remarkable job of trying to move the environmental agenda forward within a constrained world.