EPA Administrator receives boxing gloves as a gift from the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference this week, then displays them as shespeaks to the crowd. Photo credit: Heather Moyer, Sierra Club.
Tuesday was Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson's birthday, but she sure didn't have an easy week. Fortunately, she was ready for it after receiving a pair of boxing gloves as a birthday gift from the hosts of the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference in Washington.
In a hearing Wednesday morning before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Jackson faced an onslaught of questions about EPA's proposed safeguards to protect public health and the environment. Republican Congressman Lee Terry of Nebraska even asked her if she likes puppies. Who doesn't? Most people like clean air and clean water too, but Rep. Terry didn't ask about that. Many in Congress don't seem to understand EPA's importance in keeping our air and water clean. Be it asthma or heart disease from air pollution, or mercury poisoning due to toxic emissions, there's no question that Big Oil and Big Coal are affecting our health.
Too many in Congress are taking the side of these big (and rich!) polluters, and they are attempting to handcuff EPA's ability to protect us. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, House Energy and Commerce Chair Rep. Fred Upton, who blasted Jackson all during Wednesday's hearing, was among the top 20 recipients of oil and gas money in the U.S. House in 2010, taking close to $250,000 from the industry during his career.
Politicians like Rep. Upton are out of touch and out of sync with Americans when it comes to the EPA protecting our air and water. This view is made very clear through the latest USA Today / Gallup poll showing that "most Americans want the current EPA to do more, not less," highlighting that almost two-thirds of Americans, think "the EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water."
The Sierra Club is in EPA and Lisa Jackson's corner and we are doing everything we can to protect the agency's authority to keep our air and water clean and our families healthy. We know that EPA holds the cure to the pollution brought on by coal and oil.
Happy birthday, Administrator Jackson, keep up the good fight!
Read more about Lisa Jackson:
Who's Who on Obama's Green Team: Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA
TreeHugger Talks to Lisa Jackson, EPA Chief on New EPA, Youth, CO2: "We Have a Moment" (Video)
Obama EPA Head Nominee Lisa Jackson Says She'll Put Science Back Into the Agency