Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will leave the agency after the State of the Union, reports the Washington Post.
The WaPo identifies as possible successors Bob Perciasepe and Gina McCarthy, both current EPA employees. Perciasepe was an assistant EPA administrator under President Clinton and spent several years as a vice-president at the National Audobon Society; he currently ranks just below Jackson at the EPA. McCarthy heads the air quality division of the EPA, where most of Obama's toughest regulations have been issued.
Jackson's name has been floated as a possible president of Princeton University and - idle Twitter speculation - a run against Chris Christie for governor in
The New York Times looks at Jackson's record, with much work done and much work still to do:
Ms. Jackson’s departure comes as many in the environmental movement are questioning Mr. Obama’s commitment to dealing with climate change and other environmental problems.While Perciasepe and McCarthy may be well qualified, we may be looking at an "acting EPA administrator" for four years. Republicans aligning with polluter state Democrats such as Joe Manchin (D?-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) may block the appointment of anyone who looks likely to carry on or enlarge upon Jackson's legacy.
More difficult for her was the lack of support she received at times from environmental groups, who saw every compromise as a betrayal, and from the White House, which was trying to balance worries about the economy and the president’s re-election campaign against the perceived costs of tough environmental policies.
Asked what she considered most important in her tenure, Ms. Jackson mentioned the endangerment finding, because it was the first time that the federal government began to address climate change. She also said that, although it received little notice during her tenure, she was proud of her role in expanding the environmental agenda to include voices that have been little heard, including low-income communities, native Alaskans and American Indian tribes.
“Before me,” she said, “some people said that African-Americans don’t care about the environment. I don’t think that will ever be the case again.”
8:04 AM PT: Statement by President Obama:
Over the last four years, Lisa Jackson has shown an unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children. Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act, and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution. Lisa has been an important part of my team, and I want to thank her for her service in my Administration and her tireless efforts to benefit the American people. I wish her all the best wherever her future takes her.