Lisa Jackson wins again.
We were somewhat excited to hear Texas Rep. Joe Barton use his opening statement at today’s House Energy and Commerce hearing on the EPA 2013 budget to read EPA chief Lisa Jackson the riot act.
Barton denounced EPA science and cost-benefit analysis and the conflict of interest among the agency’s researchers and reviewers. He even waived a copy of a scientific refence manual at Jackson. Barton seemed to imply that this was going to be a rough hearing for Jackson.
It wasn’t. Barton didn’t even come back to question Jackson. The rest of his Republican colleagues were more in supplicant than oversight mode.
Many (most) GOP questioners seemed to be more interested in asking Jackson for favors concerning their parochial interests. No one — not even West Virginia firebrand David McKinley — pressed Jackson along the lines that Barton started.
It’s clear that House Republicans lack fire in their belly, knowledge of EPA’s regulatory over-reach and lack the ability to competently cross-examine Lisa Jackson.
It was a thoroughly disappointing and disheartening hearing.
No GOP-er on the Energy and Commerce Committee earned re-election with that performance. They are fortunate that the alternative (Henry Waxman, Ed Markey, et al.) is so unacceptable.
Tomorrow, Lisa Jackson will be testifying before the House Appropriations Committee on the 2013 budget. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing with Jackson, originally scheduled for March 2, has been postponed. So we’ll see what happens with those hearings.
Until then, read “Showdown at the EPA Corral.”