Lisa P. Jackson, chosen to head the Environmental Protection Agency, said at her confirmation hearing Wednesday morning that her first task would be to restore scientific and legal integrity to an agency battered by charges of political interference and coziness with industry. …
“Science must be the backbone of what E.P.A. does,” Ms. Jackson said in her opening statement to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “If I am confirmed, I will administer with science as my guide. I understand the laws leave room for policymakers to make policy judgments. But if I am confirmed, political appointees will not compromise the integrity of E.P.A.’s technical experts to advance particular regulatory outcomes.”
Ms. Jackson, 46, holds degrees in chemical engineering from Tulane University and Princeton University. She worked as a career employee at E.P.A. for 15 years and most recently served as head of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection,
Senator Barbara Boxer, chair of the committee, said she had waited a long time for new leadership at the environmental agency. “E.P.A. works for the American people and in my view we have seen it hurt the American people these past eight years,” she said. The agency, she added, “needs to be awakened from a deep and nightmarish sleep.”
Good news. The EPA could once again be in the business of protecting the environment.