Regulate, Baby, Regulate

By Stone, Daniel | Newsweek, April 12, 2010 | Go to article overview

Regulate, Baby, Regulate


Stone, Daniel, Newsweek


Byline: Daniel Stone

EPA chief Lisa Jackson is taking on the president's next big challenge: climate change. Will her hardball tactics persuade Congress to play along?

Washington, D.C., is littered with the careers of bright, well-meaning public servants who came to the capital to do good but fell victim to politics. Lisa Jackson is determined not to become one of them. As head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson oversees the quality of America's air and water and monitors pollution levels. It's a job that endears her to green activists (and people who like clean air and water)--but it also puts her at odds with some of the nation's largest, richest industries.

For decades, big manufacturers and commercial farmers, who retain powerful lobbyists and make large contributions to the election campaigns of members of Congress, have pushed back against the EPA's efforts to enact stricter controls on pollution. In the years when George W. Bush was president they often got their way, as the EPA rolled back on enforcement to suit the administration's pro-industry politics.

Some of those industry heads have also been heard in the Obama White House, which last week announced plans to open parts of Alaska and the East Coast to new offshore drilling--a gambit the president hopes will build support for a climate-change bill in Congress. But if that conciliatory approach doesn't work, Obama can count on Jackson as his climate enforcer. Unless Congress acts by next January, Jackson says, the EPA will use its authority under America's Clean Air Act to phase in new restrictions on carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. The U.S. emits nearly a quarter of the world's carbon dioxide; the EPA has identified it and five other greenhouse gases as a threat to public health. "The difference between this administration and the last is that we don't believe we have an option to do nothing," Jackson told NEWSWEEK.

Despite the rage of environmentalists, the drilling decision didn't bother Jackson much. Just weeks before, she admitted that any energy policy "should include offshore drilling" so long as it doesn't harm the environment--a condition that would seem nearly impossible to fulfill. If anything, energy companies unearthing more fossil fuels would only boost the emissions she's aiming to cut, giving her fight more urgency. But that doesn't mean her job will be easy. Three months after announcing her intent, Jackson, a chemical engineer who spent years working within the EPA bureaucracy, is starting to see just how difficult it may be. For starters, the Nixon-era Clean Air Act was never intended to regulate a pollutant as pervasive as carbon. Both environmentalists and industry heads also acknowledge that Congress would be able to address the problem better. "The only thing everyone agrees on is that a regulatory approach would be more extensive and less effective than legislation," says Paul Bledsoe, spokesman for the National Commission on Energy Policy, a Washington think tank. But until Congress takes up the question, Obama holds the only key to sweeping carbon cuts.

Jackson doesn't seem to mind that the job has been deputized to her, yet she knows her agency's credibility--and her own--could be at stake. Already, powerful interests are lining up against the anticipated changes, which she and agency scientists have promised to detail later this year. Industry groups like the American Public Power Association are readying lobbying campaigns to kill or at least slow the impending regulations, and more than 100 agriculture and energy groups have demanded that Jackson back off. "It will create a huge competitive disadvantage to our industry," says Nancy Gravatt, a spokesperson for the American Iron and Steel Institute. "We already filed a legal challenge. The further this gets, the more of that we will be doing. We will continue to contest this. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Regulate, Baby, Regulate
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.