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EPA Administrator Jackson Stepping Down

Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is stepping down.

The Associated Press reports that:

"Jackson, 50, a chemical engineer by training, did not point to any particular reason for her departure. Historically, Cabinet members looking to move on will leave at the beginning of a president's second term. 'I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference,' she said in a statement. Jackson gave no exact date for her departure, but will leave after Obama's State of the Union address in late January.

"In a separate statement, Obama said Jackson has been 'an important part of my team.' He thanked her for serving and praised her 'unwavering commitment' to the public's health."

The New York Times writes that Jackson's four years at EPA:

"Began with high hopes of sweeping action to address climate change and other environmental ills but ended with a series of rear-guard actions to defend the agency against challenges from industry, Republicans in Congress and, at times, the Obama White House. ...

"After Republicans seized control of the House in 2010, Ms. Jackson became a favored target of the new Republican majority's aversion to what it termed 'job-killing regulations.' One coal industry official accused her of waging 'regulatory jihad,' and she was summoned to testify before hostile House committees dozens of times in 2011."

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