Today, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed a packed house at the U.S. Center. Among the several recently announced climate related initiatives such as vehicle and building efficiency, it is clear that the final endangerment finding is the primary accomplishment of Obama’s EPA.
I witnessed the passion and commitment of Administrator Jackson’s efforts to return EPA to a reliance on science. Notably, her enthusiasm puts a human face on a tremendously complex scientific issue that has severe impacts on ecosystems, humans and future generations. Her energy for change and appreciation of the EPA’s progress is evident and inspiring.
Another highlight of recent events includes the mandatory reporting of GHG emissions which provides the EPA, as well as the public, the ability to accurately assess the industrial sources of GHG emissions. However, for me, the most striking aspect of Administrator Jackson’s speech was her emphasis on the harmony between the pending climate bill and the current Clean Air Act (CAA).
She stated that we are not at an “either/or,” but a “both/and” moment regarding climate legislation, which indicates that CAA will still remain strong and serve as a complement to future climate regulation. The final endangerment finding is a necessary key that allows the CAA to do what it does best: provide for reasonable, common sense regulation of air pollutants.
While stressing that the endangerment finding and the current negotiations at COP15 are two separate issues, Administrator Jackson ensured the audience of her support for the passage of comprehensive domestic climate legislation that will bring us to a clean energy future, which is a win-win for the environment, jobs, and the U.S. economy.