Monday, November 29, 2010

As EPA nears 40, its boss has to explain its mission to those who weren't around back then

Thursday, Dec. 2 is the 40th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency. It was created at a time when rivers caught fire and pesticides were killing bald eagles, writes Gabriel Nelson, for Environment & Energy News(EPA photo: Polluted Androscoggin River near Maine-New Hampshire state line.)

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson is speaking this week about the agency's past and justifying its future to Americans not old enough to remember those earlier days. Jackson is also preparing for the arrival of Congressional Republicans who say they intend to increase oversight of the agency's programs and try to rein in rules they consider excessive. They say the cost of new regulations is pushing existing jobs overseas and preventing companies from investing in new facilities.

Jackson is "absolutely adamant," writes Nelson, that the government can provide a cleaner environment to Americans without stopping economic growth, especially after a quarter in which American businesses made record profits. "I don't think that this should ever be framed to people as, 'OK, it's time to choose: Do you want a job, or do you want a clean environment?'" Jackson said. "We are not there. We are nowhere near that line, and we can have both." (Read more, subscription required)

The EPA website has interactive timelines with 40 Years of Milestones, 40 Years of Achievements, and 40 Years of Images.

No comments: