Ruby Cramer at Buzzfeed has the scoop: Top Obama Environmental Official Departs Frustrated over Pipeline, Inaction on Climate:
Jackson "left as a matter of conscience," said Jeff Tittel, the director of New Jersey's Sierra Club chapter and a longtime friend of Jackson's. The EPA Administrator "has too much principle to support [the pipeline], between the climate impacts of it and the water quality impacts of it."Lisa Jackson has been a bright spot within the Obama administration, fighting for climate and for environmental justice. She's led the administration in battling Republicans for clean air on mercury, soot, and ozone pollution. And, it turns out, she was battling within the administration as well:
A former senior administration official confirmed that disputes over Keystone were central to Jackson's alienation from the White House....Anyone who thinks that Obama will say no to the pipeline is delusional. Obama's "all of the above" energy policy means that the United States is both installing record-breaking solar while Obama has become the driller-in-chief. The strategy might make sense were climate change not so urgent, with science mandating that most of the world's fossil fuels stay untouched if we are to have any hope of holding the temperature rise to no more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Jackson chose not to fight losing battles against Republicans and inside the White House - as Buzzfeed notes, her decision to step down was in part a personal choice stemming from the demands of the job - and the administration's sketchy commitment to slowing the rise of the oceans weakens further.
"It was all about Keystone for the last 16 months," said the former senior Obama administration official, who said Jackson's opposition to the project — and her defeat in internal arguments — meant that her colleagues had assumed she would leave after the November election, before she would be forced to work on any element of the implementation of Keystone.