Statement on Nomination of Lisa Jackson to EPA Administrator

Statement on Nomination of Lisa Jackson to EPA Administrator

January 13, 2009

 

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Statement on Nomination of Lisa Jackson to EPA Administrator

 

Washington,
D.C., January 13, 2008—President-elect
Obama’s choice for EPA Administrator drew criticism from CEI experts for her
record on hazardous waste clean up and global warming, respectively.  The Senate Committee on Environment and
Public Works will hold a confirmation hearing on Wednesday, January 14,
on Lisa P. Jackson’s nomination. She is currently chief of staff to the New Jersey governor.

Statement by Marlo Lewis, CEI Senior Fellow:

The most critical decision Lisa
Jackson will have to make if she is confirmed as EPA Administrator is whether to
affirm or reject a finding that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new motor
vehicles endanger public health or welfare. A positive finding of endangerment
would require EPA to regulate GHG emissions from new motor vehicles under
Section 202 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

In Massachusetts v. EPA (April 2007), New Jersey
and the other plaintiffs demanded that EPA find endangerment and establish first-ever
GHG emission standards for new motor vehicles. As CEI and numerous other
analysts have documented in, (see here,
here,
here, and here), EPA is
not obligated to make an endangerment finding or establish GHG emission
standards. If EPA does so, however, it will trigger a regulatory cascade
throughout the Act.

The agency could then be compelled
to regulate GHG emissions not only from new mobile sources under Section 202
but also from millions of previously unregulated buildings and facilities under
the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pre-construction permitting
program and the Title V operating permits program. In addition, EPA could be
compelled to regulate GHG emissions from the economy as a whole under the
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) program.

The compliance and administrative
burdens of GHG regulation under the CAA could vastly exceed in cost, scope, and
intrusiveness any of the climate bills the U.S. Senate has so far rejected or
declined to pass. Senators need to know Ms. Jackson’s views on the following
questions:

 

  • Plaintiffs in Massachusetts
    claimed that an endangerment finding would affect only new motor vehicles. Were
    they correct, or would GHG regulation under Section 202 compel EPA to regulate
    GHG emissions from stationary sources and the economy as a whole?

  • When Congress enacted and amended Section 202 in
    1970 and 1977, did it authorize EPA to adopt global warming regulations far
    more extensive and costly than any so far proposed in legislation introduced
    before Congress?
  • Should climate policy be determined by the
    people’s elected representatives or by litigators and courts?

 

Statement by Jonathan Tolman, CEI Senior Fellow in Risk and
Environmental Policy 

One of the biggest environmental
problems in New Jersey 
New Jersey
has more superfund sites than any other state. 
Jackson’s
record as head of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection on this
issue is less than stellar.  One of the
biggest issues in the cleanup of these sites in New Jersey  For example, July the
Justice Department obtained several guilty pleas for conspiracy, fraud, and bid
rigging that resulted in the 1.3 million dollars in kickbacks.
is the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. has been charges of corruption
and incompetence.

The EPA's inspector general issued
a report this summer that criticized New
Jersey's failure to clean up several toxic waste
sites in a timely manner.  The report
accused NJDEP of going easy on polluters and failure to enforce agreements on
cleanup milestones. The report even recommended that the Bush EPA take over as
the lead cleanup agency at seven sites.

One of the initiatives to
accelerate site cleanups pushed by Jackson
was a plan to let private environmental experts oversee cleanup work at hazardous
waste.

When it comes to using science to
make environmental decisions, it should be pointed out that Jackson about the NJDEP Division of Science
and Research after it produced reports about continuing contamination following
cleanups that the DEP had overseen.

In addition to having the most
superfund sites, New Jersey  Consequently open space and development are
major environmental issues.  Jackson’s solution to that
problem was to appoint the lobbyist for the New Jersey Builders Association as
her Assistant Commissioner for water quality and land use.  
also has the highest population density of any state.

If a Republican president had
nominated a former republican State DEP head with the exact same environmental
record as Lisa Jackson, environmental groups in Washington would be howling.  But all one seems to be hearing from the
major environmental groups is the sound of one hand clapping.