Wondering how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is faring under Republican attacks? Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the EPA, made an appearance on "The Daily Show" last night — and Jon Stewart almost made mercury pollution sound funny!
In the extended interview, Jackson points out that despite the current polarized political climate, the EPA was founded under a Republican president — and that the major green-friendly rules were "all bipartisan acts, often times unanimous." Jackson also busts the oft-made economy vs. environment argument. "There's evidence in the last 40 years that the air is 60 percent cleaner while our GDP was up 207 percent," she says. Even the EPA's proposed regulation for mercury pollution from coal power plants could be a job-creator — "someone actually has to build all those scrubbers and filters that deal with mercury," Jackson points out. Besides, it's also estimated that the regulation would prevent 17,000 premature deaths.
Stewart and Jackson are obviously on the same side — but the battle over the EPA's authority wages on. Yesterday, the EPA admitted a mistake in its proposed regulation for mercury pollution. "EPA did err when it calculated what the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) can achieve, but the mistakes aren't as serious as was claimed, air chief Gina McCarthy said in a letter to the industry attorneys yesterday," reports Greenwire. "They 'do not expect this change to have any appreciable impact on the controls that will be needed for compliance,' McCarthy wrote."