President Obama alongside departing Environmental Protection Agency… (Mike Theiler / EPA )
WASHINGTON — Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during President Obama’s first term, told her staff Thursday morning she was stepping down next month.
She earlier advised the president after his November reelection that she no longer wanted to continue running the agency, and told her staff that as she leaves “the ship is sailing in the right direction.”
But Republicans in Congress, many environmental advocates and sometimes the White House itself has complained Jackson has not done enough to tackle such issues as climate change, global warming and other environmental worries.
No successor was immediately named, though Robert Perciasepe, the EPA’s deputy administrator, will temporarily run the agency.
At the White House, Obama praised the 50-year-old Jackson, the nation’s first African American to head up the EPA, for her “unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children.” He said she has been instrumental in implementing national standards to reduce mercury pollution and played a key role in establishing fuel economy standards to bring down gas pump prices.
“Lisa has been an important part of my team,” the president said.
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