EPA vs. State Regulators: Administrator Jackson’s Testimony on Fracking

Lisa Jackson is a soft spoken yet firm woman. Born in Philadelphia, raised near New Orleans, she attended Tulane University on a grant from Shell Oil Company and graduated summa cum laude. She earned her Master of Science degree from Princeton University. A chemical engineer, Jackson spent 16 years with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, serving as Commissioner and leading a regulatory staff or 2,990 people. She was known for mobilizing large enforcement sweeps in Camden and Paterson. Jackson was named Chief of Staff to former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, but was tapped days later by Obama to become Administrator of the EPA , and she resigned on December 15, 2008. The buzz on her career in New Jersey is that Jackson earned high marks from those who work on energy and policy, but not so much from those who work on toxic clean up at the local level.

Here is an Excerpt from Administrator Jackson’s Testimony Before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 24, 2011:

Thanks to advances in drilling technology, including hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – America’s potential natural gas resource is nearly 50 percent larger than we believed it was just a few years ago. The price we pay for natural gas is not set on a global market the way the price of oil is, and burning natural gas creates less air pollution than burning other fossil fuels. So increasing America’s natural gas production is a good thing.

Fracking involves injecting chemicals underground at high pressure, and various substances come back to the surface with the gas. It is not surprising, then, that Congress has directed EPA to study the relationship between fracking and drinking water. We are doing that, with input from technical experts, the public, and industry.  

In the meantime, EPA will step in to protect local residents if a driller jeopardizes clean water and the state government does not act. President Obama has made clear that we need to extract natural gas without polluting our water supplies.  

Read the entire Press Release: EPA.gov

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