Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011

Lisa Jackson

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is never going to be a popular person, except perhaps with environmentalists — and even that's not certain. That's because the EPA spends most of its time telling business what it can't do, as it tries to protect the environment and public health. And in 2011 Jackson came in for all kinds of criticism from the business community and from Republicans in Congress, who called her in to testify so often she should have gotten a free overnight stay in Capitol Hill. But Jackson is nothing if not dogged, and even if the face of some waffling from President Obama — who watered down proposed tougher standards on ground-level ozone — the EPA Administrator managed to crack down on air pollution from coal plants and other sources. She'll face an even tougher fight in 2012 as the EPA looks to implement regulations on greenhouse gases, but I suspect Jackson — a New Orleans native and long-time New Jerseyan — is up to the challenge.