I’ve pondered this question ever since Obama decided to not only undercut the EPA’s new smog rules, but to do so in a very public way, clearly intended to make him seem serious on jobs and pro-business.
EPA chief Lisa Jackson has not made any public statements since the announcement. Robin Bravender discusses her options. The White House expects her to stay. Should she? I don’t know. Leaving the agency would allow her to save face and to make a strong statement that this president has been disappointing on environmental issues. She could also issue the new air standards anyway and then resign, which would make the biggest splash of all. Staying would allow her to fight another day and to shepherd through additional new rules that would make Americans’ lives better.
Put this way, it seems to me that she should stay. Certainly the Obama Administration must want her to do so. I have no doubt that the last thing they want right now is to try and get a new EPA head confirmed. I hope she does stick around, including if Obama wins a second term. She’s been very solid. At the same time, her staying should also depend on whether the president really supports her agenda in the long run.