On May 11, Lisa Jackson urged divestment from fossil fuel — but she sang a different tune to get confirmed as EPA chief in January 2009.
Jackson’s May 11, 2013 commencement address at American University endorsed the divestment movement:
I salute this school and it’s students for facing head on the issue of investments in fossil fuels and what that means to your individual futures.
But in January 2009, she testified at her Senate confirmation hearing as follows:
MS. JACKSON: Madame Chairman… EPA currently has and has in the past assessed its regulatory options with respect to coal ash and I think it’s time to re-ask those questions and re-look at the state of regulation of them from an EPA perspective, and clearly, that is part and parcel but can be done separately from a look at the coal technology in terms of looking as we — as we modernize coal for the future…
SEN. BARRASSO: If I could, Ms. Jackson, following up a little bit on the coal ash issues — and I visited with the nominee for secretary of Energy, the nominee for secretary of Interior and we talk about clean coal technology and needing to get to a point of energy self-sufficiency.
And I just wanted to say with coal ash and some of the concerns that we do not in any way want to limit the potential for additional research so that we can employ clean coal technology with carbon capture and sequestration. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that.
MS. JACKSON: Senator, coal is a vital resource in this country. It is right now the source of generation of about 50 percent of our power. And I think that it is also important for us to say in the same sentence that it is — the emissions from coal-fired power plants are — the largest contributor to global warming emissions. So we have to face square shouldered the future and the issues of coal and then move American ingenuity towards addressing them…
Jackson’s actions as EPA chief, of course, did everything but assure coal’s future or acknowledge its our reliance on it.
No doubt her recent commencement address reflects not any new views of hers, but ones that she has long held — like when when was testifying to the Senate to get the EPA job.
Senate Republicans relied on her “coal is vital” position, only to watch her do everything in her power (and more) to destroy the coal industry.
Food for thought as the Senate considers the nomination of Gina McCarthy to take Jackson’s place.