Posted October 14, 2011
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson took about an hour's worth of questions at Friday morning's POLITICO Pro Energy breakfast briefing (sponsored by Chesapeake Energy). Issues included how EPA would weigh in on the Keystone XL pipeline, hydraulic fracturing and whether she thought about quitting when the White House told EPA to shelve a proposed new rule on ozone emissions last month.
Jackson's responses, in brief: We'll let you know, we're watching it and next question, please. No doubt, the administrator's plate is full.
Jackson said EPA will submit its official comment on the Keystone XL project to the State Department in a week or so but wouldn't reveal anything about what the agency will say. Certainly, the project's value - as an integral part of a pro-development strategy to create jobs, generate revenue for government and to bolster America's energy security - make this a turning-point decision for the administration as it seeks solutions for a sluggish economy.
Jackson said natural gas development using hydraulic fracturing has EPA's attention - especially disposal of frack water - but added it appears there's a lot being done to make sure operators know how to do their work safely. She's right about that: Industry and state-level regulators have been and are devoting a lot of attention to operating standards and effective local supervision.
As for the ozone decision, Jackson said it's old news now. "All I can tell you is here I sit," she said. Fair enough.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.