After four long years of wreaking havoc on the economy and small businesses with job killing regulations in the name of environmental protection, EPA head Lisa Jackson is stepping down from her position. More about Jackson from the National Journal:
Jackson, the first black head of the EPA and the fourth woman to hold the job, has spent much of her tenure at the center of the energy and environment debate in Washington and was often criticized for the agency’s controversial Clean Air Act regulations.
The EPA during her tenure has undertaken several significant regulatory actions, including setting new standards to clean up mercury and other toxic emissions from coal power plants, establishing new fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles and setting new standards to limit fine particle soot in the air.
The EPA also reversed course from the Bush administration's policies and declared that climate change posed a real threat to the environment.
Critics have accused the EPA of overreach and of putting in place “job-killing” regulations at a time of economic weakness. In the last year, Jackson and her colleagues have been grilled by congressional committees on the agency’s environmental rules and their effects on energy industries and economic recovery. The GOP-led House has passed laws trying to block or delay EPA regulations.
The news of Jackson's departure comes a week after the EPA rolled out three new regulations. Her EPA is infamous for trying to push through regulations and fines on farm dust. She also played a large role in preventing the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have brought thousands of jobs to United States workers.
"I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference," she said in a statement. Jackson gave no exact date for her departure, but will leave after Obama's State of the Union address in late January.
In a separate statement, Obama said Jackson has been "an important part of my team." He thanked her for serving and praised her "unwavering commitment" to the public's health.