Lisa Jackson Has Deja Vu on The Daily Show Lisa Jackson Has Deja Vu on The Daily Show
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Lisa Jackson Has Deja Vu on The Daily Show

by Ben Jervey

May 21, 2011

Two years, almost to the day, after Lisa Jackson's first appearance on The Daily Show, the E.P.A. chief administrator returned to chat with with Jon Stewart about the state of affairs in the agency.

Then, Jackson was defending the science behind climate change and making assurances that the President's climate policies and pollution preventions wouldn't hurt businesses.

Oh, how far we've come!

Here's the two-part extended interview:


Jackson defends the President's commitment to environmental protection, and is clear about the frustrations of playing defense against an ongoing Republican assault on the E.P.A.

On D.C's delusions:

I sometimes call it the "fact-free zone." Outside Washington, 95 percent of the American people…see one of the roles of government as protecting their air and their water...And yet time and time again, we’re having to go onto the Hill, oftentimes with people who privately tell me, "hey, I’m for the environment," and then they say "but…" and the "but" is a set of talking points from industry.

On mercury pollution regulations and the perceived threat to business:

The only thing we hear is "it can’t be done," and everything we know and every model that we run shows that it absolutely can be done, and that it would actually create jobs. Someone has to build all those scrubbers and filters that deal with mercury.

On the growing job of testifying before Congress:

I have testified more times in this Congress than any other cabinet member...There's a lot of agita around it...I don’t mind going up there...You should know that your Congress put more riders on the EPA than any other agency.

One positive signal that Jackson gives to environmentalists regards the mercury and dioxin standards for industrial boilers. Last week, the agency announced that it was delaying enforcement of those standards to honor some industry queries. Jackson said she knew people were worried about this, and that they were committed to "doing it right."

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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